When Talent Meets Passion

Pat says, “There’s a simple formula for success and that is when your greatest talent intersects with your strongest passion.”  He defines talent as a natural ability and passion as a natural love for certain kinds of pursuits.  While baseball has always been his greatest passion, Pat says it wasn’t his greatest talent.  After two years in the minor leagues, it was clear to Pat that his career as a professional baseball player had reached a dead end.  However, his career in professional sports was just beginning.  “I found that my greatest talent lies in the realm of leadership, salesmanship and promotion,” says Pat.  “In other words, I had great front office talent to match my passion for professional sports.”  As a result, Pat had a successful career, not as a player as he had imagined, but as a sports executive. Every successful individual he has met has learned to apply their greatest talent to their pursuit of their strongest passion in life.  “They are doing not only what they do well, but what they love most.  That is why they are successful.”

Pat recalls when he realized the exact moment in life when his passion hit him.  It was June 15, 1947 and Pat’s father took him and his sister to Shibe Park in Philadelphia for a doubleheader, the Cleveland Indians versus the Philadelphia Athletics.  Up to that point, Pat had only heard baseball games on the radio. To this day, Pat remembers the sights and sounds of his first baseball game.  “I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up – a major league baseball player.” He pursued that passion from elementary school through college.  Pat signed with the Philadelphia Phillies and embarked on fulfilling his childhood dream.  When his dream of playing professional baseball died, Pat says he had to ask himself these questions and made a shift into a career far better than his childhood dream.  Once he discovered his talent for sports management, Pat has never looked back.

Pat says there are two questions to ask yourself.  What are you passionate about and what is your natural talent?  However, all the talent and passion in the world can’t make you successful.  Pat says you might have a great talent, but there is a third question to ask yourself.  What can you get paid for?  “There is no shortage of talented people in the world today,” he says.  “But there are all too few people who have learned to leverage their talent with a fiery passion.”  Talent without passion is like a tool locked up in a toolshed. He says it is important to find the talent in the young people in your life.  By spotting their talent, then getting them excited about it will help them intersect their talent and passion early in life.  “If we do that, kids have a much better shot at life,” says Pat.  

Pat believes God equips all of us with talents and abilities.  “It is our job to focus on whatever that is as young as we can.” His son, Bobby, has 4-year old twin sons, Teddy and Jack. Teddy is passionate about baseball; Jack is the entertainer in the family.  Teddy is registered for spring t-ball and Jack will be going to Sarasota theater for kids.  Bobby and his wife spotted their talents and are giving the kids exposure to these interests to see where they lead.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Co-founder, Orlando Magic, 1987

Inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame

Ran 58 marathons

Led 23 teams to the NBA playoffs

Author of dozens of books, his latest: The Success Intersection

Education: BS, Wake Forrest, Masters, Indiana Univ.

Doctorate in Humane Letters, Flagler Univ.

Married to Ruth 12 years, father of 19 children (4 birth kids, 14 internationally adopted, 1 by marriage), 12 grandchildren


Right-click on a link below and choose "Save link as..." to save the file

High Definition - MP4
High Quality - MP4
Low Bandwidth - MP4
Audio Only - MP3
Give Now