YOU’VE OBVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS IN YOUR LIFE.WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND WHY?
We ask our athletes to understand the power and responsibility they have as role models, triggering positive behavior. I am most proud of the fact that they have retraced their roots to the High School, Collegiate and Professional Communities that helped shape them, and the programs have raised almost a billion dollars. Having a client like Heavyweight Boxing Champ Lennox Lewis deliver a public service announcement in which he says “Real Men Don’t Hit Women” can have a dynamic effect on how young people understand domestic violence. In my personal life, I am most proud of funding a program with the Anti-Defamation League called Steinberg Leadership, which trained thousands of young professionals in the fight against racism and skinheads. And I was proud to be the presenter for QB Warren Moon in 2006 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after we had spent 23 years as friends.
LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS SMOOTH.CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A SETBACK OR TRAGEDY YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED, HOW YOU DEALT WITH IT, AND THE IMPACT IT HAS HAD ON YOU?
In the years prior to 2010 I chose to blot out a series of personal setbacks with the death of my father, blindness of my boys, and a divorce by abusing alcohol. I had an epiphany that my father raised me on two core values
– Treasure relationships, especially family
– Make a positive impact on the world and help people who could not help themselves. I was failing on both scores. In 2010 I entered Sober Living and put sobriety and being a good parent as my goals. Resilience is a critical quality. I found a unique fellowship and worked a twelve step program and am now in my ninth year of continuous sobriety.
DO YOU SET ASIDE “ME-TIME” IN YOUR CALENDAR, AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME TO RELAX?
I love the beach and water and have always lived near the ocean. I love spending time with my children. I love books, movies, plays, politics. I do a cardio workout every day and see a personal trainer three times a week. I have a Fit Bit that reminds me to keep moving.
WHAT’S THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE YOU’VE DISCOVERED WHERE YOU CAN GO TO CHILL OUT?
I love Hawaii. The ocean, the plants, the birds, the scenery, the food, and the gentle spirit and can get recharged there. Living in Newport Beach provides amazing opportunities to watch the Sunset and pick up positive ions from the water.
DOES PHILANTHROPY PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR LIFE, TO WHAT EXTENT AND HOW?
At the end of life, when material things fade, newspaper clippings fade, what is critically important is family and what we have contributed to the world. Was I a good father, son, husband, brother? I work every day to bring healing. We have tackled bullying, at risk children, racism, domestic violence and various diseases. Climate change is here, and if we do not move actively to combat its’ causes, our species is in danger. Overpopulation and scarcity of resources threaten our children’s future quality of life and I try and work with environmental groups to reverse the impact.
WHO IS ON THE GUEST LIST FOR YOUR IDEAL DINNER PARTY, PRESENT OR PAST?
My ideal dinner party would go like this: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Stephen Hawking, Groucho Marx, Golda Meier, John Belushi, Barack Obama, Steve Young, and Jimi Hendrix.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO YOUR FELLOW THROOMERS?
The most important skills for life are listening and psychology. If you can ask probing questions and discover another person’s priorities and their deepest anxieties and fears and greatest hopes and dreams, you can navigate life gracefully. The key is to put yourself into another person’s heart and mind and see the world the way they see it. The second key is to be present in this moment. Not dwelling in the future or the past but putting every ounce of focus into what is in front of you. Not being a slave to the cellphone or social media or being restless and impatient. Finally, when you are waiting for the amorphous “they” or “them” to fix a problem, you could wait forever–“they” is you! Make your life matter and stand for something positive!