Words of Wisdom with Scott Moak

Scott Moak
Vice President, Community Impact - Sacramento Kings

What are three things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career?

1. Every opportunity has a purpose. You won’t always know what that purpose is … but it is doing something for you – personally and professionally.

2. Say yes to everything! Well, almost everything … especially the stuff that stimulates your intellectual curiosity and puts you 18 miles outside of your comfort zone.

3. American Idol is not really real. I mean, it’s a real TV show, but rarely does anyone “become famous” overnight. It takes tons of hard, gritty work. It takes patience and perseverance. You need to own it, but earn it too.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

I always looked up (and still do) to my first boss at the Sacramento Children’s Home, Roland Udy. He had this way of making people feel heard, respected and important. He would always stress that work was far more about “the people and the relationships” than it was about the actual work.

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

As a young guy (pre-wife & kiddos) I filled my plate up pretty full. Working for a nonprofit. Master’s program. Practicing as a marriage & family therapist on weekends. And announcing sports. At times I used each of those to balance the others. I found it was my passion for helping people and love of sports filled my tank. Ironically, it was helping people and sports that depleted my tank, so I had to stay vigilant and make sure I wasn’t over extending myself.

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

I was always intrigued by Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone. It speaks to why people need to connect with one another. Why we need to log off email for a second and go and talk to a neighbor. Why we need to sit on our front porches again. Why we need to join leagues and clubs and host dinner parties.

How important is it to be involved in organizations outside of work (church, networking, philanthropy, alumni, athletics, etc.)? Why?

Going back to the power of connections and relationships, this is where you build them. Your circles get wider when you volunteer … when you join a club … when you meet a new neighbor … and when you attend an event.

What do you love about Sacramento?

Sacramento is the best because it takes all the greatest attributes of a big city, and all the best attributes of a small town and mixes them up into a perfectly wonderful combination. And I have never loved living in Sacramento more than I do right now.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40 and under business professionals in our region?

You YP’s have started something. It’s official. You have launched a movement and it’s so exciting. Now … just figure out how you keep it going and build on it. Keep driving forward, pushing for growth, standing on your head to make this the most vibrant, prosperous city possible.