Keep the Line Moving

Our podcast “Keep the Line Moving” is focused on highlighting leaders who have led in ways that have impacted people in a profound way. We break down how they inspire, motivate, and touch the hearts of the people they lead. This is not a typical podcast discussing the wins and losses of leaders. We go behind the scenes hearing how they practically, strategically, and empathically lead people to achieve beyond their collective and individual abilities.

“Keep the Line Moving” is a baseball metaphor that epitomizes a team-first approach. Hitters do what it takes to keep the inning alive by hitting behind the runner or bunting – taking a selfless approach to scoring runs and ultimately helping the team win. We will have discussions on how emphasizing team goals over personal goals will help everyone win.

Someone Like You
Someone Like You

This week’s guest works with a simple yet powerful mission: to help others empower themselves. Stedman Graham was recently awarded the Horatio Alger Award for his success against great adversity and his commitment to higher education and charitable efforts in the community. Stedman and I talk about what it means to truly know yourself, the value of a positive mindset, and the courageous nature of great leaders.

Episode 22

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Key Takeaways from Stedman:

  • Define yourself by what’s inside you, not your external circumstances.
  • Your foundational support and guidance has a huge impact on your success.
  • A positive mindset reaps positive rewards.
  • Find your passion and put in the work to reach it.

Previous Episodes

Episode 1 - Anthony Becht

For our premier, I had the pleasure to sit down with my very good friend Anthony Becht. A 12-year NFL veteran, first round draft pick, and the third NFL offensive player to play 152 consecutive games, Anthony is currently the Head Coach of the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks. We covered Anthony’s NFL career, his transition to coaching, and his leadership approach. He shared how he’s taken the lessons he learned as a player and applied them to motivating and leading his own team.


Key Takeaways:


    • Perseverance has been a major force in Anthony’s life since childhood.
    • Always doing more than what is required is a way of life.
    • Failure has fueled his passion rather than deterred him.
    • Transparent and honest communication is the foundation of his philosophy for his new job as Head Coach of the St. Louis BattleHawks.

Episode 2 - Staci Slaughter

I sat down with Senior Executive Advisor at the San Francisco Giants, Staci Slaughter! Staci spent the last 27 years turning the Giants into the beloved team they are today through her incredible work in their media relations, public affairs, marketing communications programs, and community outreach activities. Staci and I discussed teamwork at the Giants, the massive collaborative effort that was the construction and opening of Oracle Park, and the years of foundation-laying that led to the Giants’ 2010 World Series win.

Key Takeaways:


    • Keep your goals at the heart of everything you do, think about the why behind your actions.
    • A collaborative spirit within the leadership team set the tone for Staci’s approach to her career.
    • The ‘secret sauce’ of the Giant’s reputation is their connection with the community and fans.
    • Staci’s approach has been to listen first and to gain insight before acting.

Episode 3 - Mike Witt

Mike Witt spent much of his career in leadership positions including as a regional Vice President and received many leadership certificates for his work. He followed his passions and is now the owner and operator of Anytime Fitness in Sausalito, California. He is also a great friend of mine since childhood. Being raised by an Army Colonel, Mike knows and thing or two about leading and shared with us some of the most important lessons he’s learned in his career.

Key Takeaways:


    • “Street leadership vs. Seat Leadership”: spend as much time with your team as possible in their environment, not just behind your desk.
    • You don’t have to fit into a specific leadership mold, allow yourself to adapt and create your own style that works best for you and your team. 
    • Catch people doing things right. It’s easy to focus on negatives, but looking out for the positives creates a rewarding work experience.
    • “Take care of your people”: the best words of advice Mike got from his father, the colonel.


Episode 4 - Erik Coleman

I sat down with Erik Coleman, former safety for the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit Lions! Going from a challenging childhood where Erik had to take on a lot of responsibilities at a young age to an amazing nine-year career in the NFL to currently working as the VP of NFP and a broadcaster, Erik has crafted a truly impressive career. Erik shared how he built the drive that got him to the NFL, the lessons he learned from coaches along the way, and the work he put in to crafting his post-pro career.   

Key Takeaways:

    • Stay on the path. Focus on your goals and what you need to do to achieve them. 
    • You don’t become the best overnight, you have to consistently outwork everyone else.
    • Some of the best leaders don’t have to be vocal, they speak through their actions.
    • Success doesn’t breed success, success breeds complacency.

Episode 5 - Courtney Jeffries

I got to chat with my former colleague at the Oakland Raiders, Courtney Jeffries! Courtney is currently the CEO of Virtual Tables, an exciting time in her very successful career. She spent years in the operations side of sports at the Raiders, Pac-12, and Madison Square Garden before making the daunting shift to tech. Courtney shared her lifelong connection to sports, her very educational time as a team member at the Raiders, and how she’s changed her work and leadership styles since being in tech.

Key Takeaways:

    • It’s important to have a ‘boots on the ground’ attitude in order to understand the people and positions you manage.
    • When it comes to your legacy, the way you treat people is as important as what you achieve.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – it can save you and your team a lot of trouble.

Episode 6 - Ken Mack

For our Super Bowl Special episode, I sat down with Emmy Award winning producer, Ken Mack, who has produced six Super Bowls for CBS Sports. Starting at CBS immediately after graduating from Harvard University, Ken has spent the last 33 years producing content for the NFL, golf, tennis, college basketball and more. We talked about his journey into production, the inner workings of his incredible team, and what goes into putting on some of the most high-profile events in sports. 

Key Takeaways:

    • Camaraderie and trust in your team is a must-have for high-stress jobs.
    • If people see that you care about them, they will care about you, the job and the product.
    • The key to longevity in your career is to love what you do.

Episode 7 - Josh Loeffler

After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2003, Josh Loeffler quickly realized that a desk job just wouldn’t cut it. Today, he is the Head Coach of Johns Hopkins’ Men’s Basketball team and is leading them to victory. Josh has an incredible story about following his passions and finding his calling as a coach. He has led many talented athletes in his life and every practice has helped craft his unique leadership style. Josh talks about his coaching philosophy, how his own children have influenced him, and how he connects with his players. 

Key Takeaways:

    • You have to possess self-awareness when dealing with individuals and team dynamics.
    • Follow your passions, even when it seems like everyone else is going down the expected path.
    • Leaders have the tough job of telling people what they need to hear, even if it’s not what they want to hear.
    • Truly caring about your people and your responsibilities is necessary as a leader.

Episode 8 - Anne Shadle

We all know athletes put an incredible amount of work into maintaining their physical health for the sake of their sport. But what about maintaining their mental performance? Well, that’s where this week’s guest, Dr. Anne Shadle, comes in. As the Director of Mental Performance for the New York Jets, Anne works directly with players to guide and education them through the mental perseverance required of a professional athlete.

Key Takeaways:

    • Know the ‘why’ behind what you do and commit yourself to it.
    • A team succeeds by supporting and caring for each other and the work they do.
    • The relationships you form need to possess connection and quality.

Episode 9 - Bri Newland

I had a great conversation with my colleague, Dr. Brianna Newland! Bri is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Academic Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Tisch Institute for Global Sport. Bri has been widely recognized for her incredible work, most recently by the North American Society for Sport Management, who awarded her their Garth Paton Distinguished Service Award. As a leader to emerging talent in sports at NYU, she has experienced an incredible leadership journey that began long before she ever taught a class. Bri talks about her leadership, education, the mentors that guided her along the way, and the approach she takes to preparing emerging leaders for their post-college careers.

Key Takeaways:

    • You can practice ‘quiet leadership’ through your actions and your influence.
    • When you’re learning, it’s valuable to focus on the process, not the outcome.
    • Three tips for being a great leader: be patient, observe, and always listen.

Episode 10 - Jalal Leach

I spoke with Jalal Leach, a man who proves that hard work does indeed pay off. We grew up on the same street, went to the same schools, played on the same teams and, at 18, Jalal took his talents as a baseball player to Pepperdine University. From there, he was drafted by the New York Yankees and spent 12 seasons dedicating himself to his craft in the minors. In 2001, he finally made it to the majors while playing for his hometown team, the San Francisco Giants. Jalal and I talked about the many lessons he learned from his parents, the strength he carried through the minors, his breakthrough into the majors, and his work now as a scout for the Giants.

Key Takeaways:

    • Persevere. Keep working towards your dreams and turn your obstacles into learning opportunities.
    • Be aware of the consequences of your actions and act with purpose.
    • Value the strength and support you get from the people who care about you.

Episode 11 - Herm Edwards

Spending over half a century playing and coaching football, Herm Edwards lives and breathes the game. After a standout college and NFL playing career, he knew his football journey was only beginning. Coach Edwards dedicated himself to helping others and became the Head Coach of the New York Jets in 2001 and later led the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona State. Herm takes us through this journey with anecdotes, valuable lessons, and a greater understanding of what it all meant to him. We talk about his work ethic as a player, his coaching philosophy, and the many ways he has inspired and connected to the players he has led. 

Key Takeaways:

    • People will respect your title, but you have to earn their trust.
    • It’s more valuable to give your players direction than correction.
    • Treat everyone fairly, but not the same.
    • You have to make sure your players know you care.

Episode 12 - Marty Lurie

Growing up near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Marty Lurie’s love of baseball took hold early and never left. It was this very love that led to his impressive law career and eventually led to him being inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Marty’s career is tied together by the many layers he says coexist between baseball, law, storytelling, and life. Marty and I talked about his childhood in Brooklyn, his journey to criminal law, and the proud dedication he puts into everything he does, from legal trials to radio shows. 

Key Takeaways:

    • Follow your passions, however they take form. 
    • Give back to the people who come after you.
    • Fight for the underdog. 

Episode 13 - Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley has spent decades leading teams in the financial services industry with exceptionally strong results. In an industry known for being cutthroat, what set Mark apart was his approach to put human emotions first and lead with genuine care for his team. Mark’s philosophy is built off the knowledge and research that feelings and emotions drive up to 90% of our behavior and positively impacting these emotions will create a highly motivated team. Mark and I talked about what drives his leadership methods, the need for this approach in the modern workplace, and what he believes leaders must do to successfully lead their teams.

Key Takeaways:

    • The most successful way to motivate people in the workplace is to positively affect their hearts.
    • Lead in a way that aligns with who you want to be and how you want to be perceived.
    • A leader is not only responsible for the team’s deliverables but for the wellbeing of their team members.

Episode 14 - Georgia O'Donoghue

As the Vice President of Business Operations at Atlanta United FC, Georgia O’Donoghue is in an incredibly demanding position. That doesn’t stop her, however, from personally ensuring that her team is motivated and fulfilled in their work every day. Georgia’s hands on leadership style has evolved from being involved in team sports, studying leadership, and learning from every position she has held. Georgia and I discuss her draw to leadership, how she maintains a strong and successful team, and the many tidbits of wisdom she has to share with fellow leaders, both established and emerging. 

Key Takeaways:

    • Embrace the opportunities that make you uncomfortable. 
    • To be liked, you have to be respected and to be respected, you have to be honest.
    • Having the mindset to persevere through and despite losses can lead you to a lot of success.
    • Building and forming relationships is essential to getting through life. 

Episode 15 - Cynthia Frelund

As a child attending elementary school abroad, Cynthia Frelund found comfort in math, where her passion and talent for numbers provided her with a path. That comfort has taken her far, as the first Analytics Expert for NFL Media. Cynthia provides viewers with fact and analytics-based insights that have the power to change how people watch and play the game. Cynthia and I talk about her diverse and impressive journey, the courageous efforts she has put into achieving her goals, and the many lessons she has learned along the way.

Key Takeaways:

    • Listen more than you speak.
    • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, the worst they can say is no.
    • Connect with and have empathy for others.
    • Ask good questions, which takes preparation, listening, and research.

Episode 16 - Brian Baldinger

At 11 years old, Brian Baldinger knew that sports would be an integral part of his life. With this belief, and a steady determination imparted in him by his Marine Corps father, Brian has dedicated his life to doing what he loves. Brian had a successful 13-year career in the NFL and later became a broadcaster, currently working as an analyst on the NFL Network. Brian shares with us his determination to make it as a football player, the many lessons he’s learned in his career, and the gratitude he has for every experience he’s had along his journey.

Key Takeaways:

    • When taking on a project, establish a strong and supportive team.
    • Take the time to show gratitude for the opportunities you’ve been given.
    • When you truly love what you do, it shows in your results.
    • Nobody goes through their journey alone, value the people around you.

Episode 17 - Nikki Fargas

Already having been a successful player, coach, and broadcaster, Nikki Fargas has effortlessly transitioned into her role as President of the defending WNBA Champions, the Las Vegas Aces. Since she took on the position, Nikki has helped build the team’s fanbase, worked with owner Mark Davis to launch their Alumni Initiative, and saw the team win their first ever WNBA Championship. Nikki tells me about playing under Coach Pat Summitt and her Definite Dozen, the Aces’ Alumni Initiative honoring former players and their contributions to the organization, and what winning the Championship has meant to the players, the organization, and the city of Las Vegas. 

Key Takeaways:

    • You are the company you keep so spend time with people who share your passions, aspirations, and goals.
    • Communication is key. Your entire organization has to be aligned with your goals and end game. 
    • Go into every meeting with an open mind and leave being able to say that you’ve learned something today.

Episode 18 - Will Clark

Will Clark is widely known for his many impressive accomplishments as a baseball player including a Golden Spikes Award, a Silver Slugger Award, and a Gold Glove Award. Behind the accolades is a man with endless determination, a deep understanding of the game, and a belief that grit can outplay talent. Will is now utilizing his skills to guide current players as a special advisor and hitting instructor for the San Francisco Giants. Will the Thrill sat down with me to talk about his remarkable career, the many people who shaped his journey, and how he is working to lead the younger generation.

Key Takeaways:

    • Drive and effort can be more valuable than base talent.
    • Get the most out of your abilities and talent.
    • Any organization must have clear communication through every level.

Episode 19 - Amit Patel

Rakuten is the Japanese word for optimism. Amit Patel, CEO and President of Rakuten Americas embodies rakuten. Leading 4,000 employees, Amit’s responsibility is his people and ensuring that they are safe, happy, and in the best environment they can be. Amit sits down with me to talk about finding and following his passion, Rakuten’s partnership with the Golden State Warriors, the aspects of Japanese work culture that Rakuten brings to America, and his advice for other leaders. 

Key Takeaways:

    • Allow your interests to turn in to passions.
    • Find the people who see you and have your best interests at heart. 
    • Leaders create leaders.
    • You are more likely to get people to follow you based on your actions than on your title.

Episode 20 - Imry Halevi

Imry Halevi serves as the Associate Director of Athletics, Content and Strategic Communications at Harvard University. In his time at Harvard, Imry has boosted viewership, helped develop and launch the Ivy League Network, and helped facilitate the partnership with ESPN that launched the Ivy League on ESPN Network. Chairing multiple content and media committees across Harvard and the Ivy League, Imry leads not for titles, but because he wants to motivate others. Imry talks to me about finding his passion for content, what he values most in his team members, and the attributes of great leaders. 

Key Takeaways:

    • You recognize good leadership when you see it. 
    • Your leadership must be flexible for people and circumstances. 
    • A leader who explains the why and how of a task is more motivating than one who only tells you the what. 

Episode 21 - JT the Brick

John Tournour found his passion in sports radio early and went for it. Three decades later, he is JT the Brick, with his own national show, podcast, and various programs for the Las Vegas Raiders. JT’s journey has been full of inspirational people, lasting relationships, incredible experiences, and life-long lessons. JT tells me about the path that brought him to his career, the many attributes that he believes make a good leader, and the life lessons that he has to share. 

Key Takeaways:

    • Always be sincere and authentic no matter the environment or people present.
    • To be a good leader is to truly listen to what the people around you have to say.
    • Message to younger self: slow down and enjoy the world around you.
    • Leaders must have the ability to effectively communicate.