Friday, July 03, 2009

Stepping up to the Plate – the Next Phase of Sam Horn’s Career

Any fan of the Boston Red Sox knows the name of Sam Horn. He was a “Big Papi” type slugger for the Red Sox long before David Ortiz came to Boston. In 1987, Sam set the all time major league record by hitting 10 homeruns in first 82 at bats. Sam is the inspiration for the website, The sight has attracted up to half a million unique visitors per day, and is one of the best known player-based sites and chat rooms in all of baseball. Sam is also familiar as a broadcaster who has appeared frequently on NESN and a variety of other TV and radio outlets in the Boston area.

Sam is currently looking for his next full-time job somewhere in the greater Boston region, and I am determined to help him to discover the best place to use his talents. I solicit your help in this process of discovery, and invite you to “step up to the plate” and help Sam to identify opportunities to explore.

I first met Sam in person when he began making appearances at Autograph Alley several seasons ago. A few weeks ago, we happened to enter Fenway Park at the same time, so we walked together towards Autograph Alley at the far end of Yawkey Way.

“Sam, when you are not signing autographs here, what are you doing these days?”

“Funny you should ask. I am just beginning a search for a full-time position. What do you do?”

When I told Sam that I was an executive recruiter, his eyes lit up. I offered to meet with him to learn what he hoped to do in the future. To be honest, I was not sure how that meeting would go. I have known a number of professional athletes who had few marketable skills beyond their extraordinary athletic prowess. I was eager to learn what else Sam brings to the table. I quickly discovered, much to my delight, a very bright, energetic, articulate communicator who is knowledgeable in a broad variety of fields. Not only does Sam know about and care about the world of sports, he also is passionate and knowledgeable about the worlds of media, business, public affairs and community relations. Sam has a lot to say and a lot to offer.

As a next step, it made sense to garner feedback from a group of successful young professionals I know well. So, recently a group of us gathered for lunch at the Legal Seafood in Kendall Square. In addition to the delicious fish that Legal always offers, on the menu was “Sam Horn’s Future”! I am pleased to share some feedback from those who were in attendance at our luncheon gathering.

Here are some thoughts and reactions from Dan Allard of Fresh Tilled Soil:

“Before I was able to have lunch and meet Sam Horn, I only knew of his baseball playing career and the website which bears his name. I came away from the lunch truly excited about what Sam could bring to a company or multiple companies who need to utilize a well spoken, gregarious, motivational speaker. I could feel - by just listening to him speak - his desire to succeed and can understand how he became a major league baseball player. Working in sales, as I do, I would want to be able to speak with Sam on a regular basis to discuss people's personalities and for a "pick me up." Sam could also be a spokesman for products as well.

One other area that I was affected by what Sam said was about his desire to help people. Sam would also have much success if he were working with under privileged groups and people in disadvantaged communities. Granted, it is hard to monetize these types of relationships and jobs, but people say, ‘If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.’ Sam would experience much success helping the less privileged.”

Ravi Kudesia of Micronation, Inc., offered his reactions to Sam in bullet point form:

Sam Horn is halfway in between the past and the future

• In the past, he was an accomplished and successful athlete.
• In the future, he will be a motivational leader in the corporate world.
• This leaves us with the present – the point of personal and professional transition.

Why this transition should not be a challenge.

Sam is:

• Articulate – Strong speaker; can communicate on a relatable level
• Discerning – Sports analyst; able to provide meaningful commentary
• Entrepreneurial – Outgoing; not somebody who is meant for a cubicle
• Motivational – Focus on self-betterment and helping / training others
• Opportunity Oriented – Wants to help the underprivileged prove themselves
• Positively Regarded – Well known and well regarded by his community
• Relationship Oriented – Works well with other individuals and judges character well
• Team Player – Sports and other environments show strong teamwork skills

Potential areas to investigate:

• Corporate Responsibility Spokesperson – Not a 9-5 job, the ideal firm would focus on the underprivileged in its outreach programs. It’s more emotional work than busywork and is high visibility to improve the personal brand. It also builds off of his general goodwill.
• Human Resources Manager – This would work especially well at a sports-related firm, which makes for an easier transition while opening up the gateway for more corporate jobs down the line. Builds off of his human and communication skills.
• Motivational Speaker – Also not a 9-5 job, but will draw on previous sports experience as well as previous speaking engagements. Also draws on goodwill, builds the brand and helps him network for future jobs.
• Sales Team Leader – Sales is not about college education, but about emotional and human knowledge, which are Sam’s skills. The job does require more oversight and organization than the speaking jobs.

It is clear that Dan and Ravi and the rest of the group saw in Sam many of the same strengths that have jumped out at me as I have come to known Sam Horn.

The two areas where it would seem to me that Sam would be able to make an immediate and significant contribution would be:

1. Serving in the capacity of Community Relations Officer for a corporation or consortium of corporations seeking to improve their image and reach into Boston’s diverse neighborhoods.

2. Selling a product or service to take advantage of his considerable communication and persuasive skills.

If you would be willing to join me in thinking about the best places where Sam may be able to make an immediate contribution, Sam and I will be grateful. Sam is ready to hit some homeruns for his next employer.

I will be happy to make available copies of Sam’s resume to anyone who has ideas.

Go Sox!

Go Sam!


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