Catching Up With Seth Abraham: Trusting The People You Hire

Seth Abraham talks about his years as an executive at HBO Sports and Madison Square Garden.
Photo by: PATRICK E. MCCARTHY
In today’s issue of SportsBusiness Journal, Executive Editor Abraham Madkour writes about his recent meeting with longtime sports business executive Seth Abraham. Abraham has spent more than 40 years in the sports business and was behind the growth of HBO Sports and ran Madison Square Garden for four years. During the discussion, he talks about his years as an executive and about his management style.

“When you are in a room and you are discussing something, everyone in the room knows who the boss is,” he said. “You don’t have to yell. You don’t have to scream or pound a table. Everybody knows who the boss is. With the people I hired at HBO and Madison Square Garden, I hired them for a reason. They were smart. They were clever. They were imaginative. They were creative. Shame on me if I didn’t listen to them. Sometimes people who reported to me would take a point of view 180 degrees from me. I would go into Bryant Park and get a cappuccino and I’d walk around the park thinking to myself, ‘What am I missing that these really smart people think we should be making a left turn when I’m thinking we should make a right turn?’ I would say that 20 percent of the cases, I changed my mind. I would say to myself, ‘These people know something that I don’t know or don’t see.’ And these are people I hired for a reason.”

Check back here all week for more from the conversation with Seth Abraham.

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