On Monday, November 13th, Amherst LEADS welcomed back to campus Phil de Picciotto ’77 for the third and final Captains program of the semester. In 1983 de Picciotto co- founded Advantage International, which later became Octagon, where he now serves as Founder and President. Octagon is a worldwide leader in sport and entertainment marketing and talent representation.
Being one of the leaders in sports entertainment and talent representation, de Picciotto has found his niche in the sports industry with Octagon, and he was able to relay some of what he has learned over the past decade with the student-athletes. de Picciotto first spoke to the group about his experiences while at Amherst and he mentioned a handful of points about being a student at Amherst College and how it can help you be successful later in life.
Much of what de Picciotto spoke about was how to be the best leader you can, and what that could look like for different types of people. One point that de Picciotto continuously hit on was the importance of choosing and being involved with the right people, because having the right people in your life can make a huge difference. When speaking to the group, de Picciotto referenced an article written that identified the “Seven Secrets of a Great Team Captain” and expanded on what those could look like. The seven secrets he mentioned that great leaders of the greatest teams in history had were; the broke the rules for a purpose, they communicated practically, they knew how to motivate, they were independent thinkers, they were relentless, they took care of the tough tasks, and they possessed remarkable emotional self-control.
Following the seven secrets of the greatest past leaders, de Picciotto went through some scenarios that he has experienced while heading the charge at Octagon and asked the group how, as someone representing talent, would they react to produce the best outcome for all parties. This segment made the group think about all the factors involved in representing top talent, the hardest aspects of that job and the types of leadership qualities that are necessary to excel.
de Picciotto has a wealth of information that has led him to be successful in one of the most lucrative businesses. Much of his advice shed light on how leadership comes in many different forms but it is vital to surround yourself with good people, to know that leadership is rooted in caring, meet people and create opportunity, always try to manage to peoples strengths, and have a common set of goals. It was a pleasure to have de Picciotto back on campus to provide the students with an opportunity to learn from a leader who can think outside of the box and build critical skills that aid in the success of the business and his team and clients as a whole.
This events wraps up programming for the student-athletes for fall semester 2017.