Which entrepreneur do you admire the most and why?
Entrepreneurs who have gone on to build big businesses, like Howard Schultz and Phil Knight, are people that will always inspire me. But in terms of entrepreneurs who are making a difference in today’s world, there’s a woman named Erica Malbon who I find to be fascinating. She and her husband, Steve Malbon, launched the Malbon Golf brand, and she launched Malbon Women. And if you think about golf, and you think about the apparel and accessories and just everything that goes with it—how you dress, how you feel when you play golf—she is bringing a sense of style and fashion that the golf world has not seen. She’s an important voice, and someone I admire.
What’s currently on your bedside reading list?
I read constantly, at least 30 minutes a day. I’m currently on my 32nd book of the year.
Rick Rubin’s “The Creative Act” was a really interesting, powerful book. I think creativity is what solves business problems. Marcus Collins’ “For the Culture” is a really interesting book. He’s a strategist at Wieden+Kennedy and an old friend. I’m a big fan of Richard Russo, and I just finished “Somebody’s Fool.” And then I read Jonathan Alter’s book on Jimmy Carter, “His Very Best.” I think Jimmy Carter will be remembered maybe not as the greatest president that ever lived, but I think he should be remembered as one of the greatest people that’s ever lived. He took his ability to have a platform and did so many good things.
What is the best career advice you’ve gotten?
You’re going to get fired at some point, so you better go all-in on the things that you really believe in.
Name one brand, other than the one you work for, that you admire.
I think my favorite brand in the world that I always admire is Nike. I think Nike does an incredible job of doing what brands should do. First and foremost, building world-class products; second, creating memorable experiences, whether they’re in-person experiences, or communication experiences. And then, offering meaningful services, things like Nike Plus or the Nike Running Club, as a sense of utility for their consumers.
I’m also a massive admirer of a number of emerging brands in golf. There’s a [golf apparel and equipment] brand called Jain Golf. We just held a summer camp–type of event at our El Segundo location where we have a golf course that was literally families with very young kids, just enjoying a day in the sunshine playing golf, and with a bunch of sleepaway camp–type activities. And it was just really, really fun. I adore brands that are changing the face of golf and Jain is one of them.
What is your secret weapon for business success?
Easiest question to answer. It’s the team that I work on and the people that I’m surrounded by, particularly here at Topgolf. From the executive team, through the brand team, through our 25,000-plus playmakers in our venues, I’m extremely fortunate to be on this team. So any success or recognition that I get because of my role, it really belongs to so many other people, not really to me.