Stuart Scott on Finding Your Distinctive Style

Stuart ScottThis past weekend, we lost a seminal figure in the sports world. Stuart Scott, longtime anchor at ESPN, died after a hard fought battle with cancer. As an avid watcher of SportsCenter, Stuart made sports news fun. His catchphrases and overall demeanor brought unmatched energy to the anchor desk. Paired with his astute insights and depth of knowledge, Stuart had a style all his own.

Want to be more like Stuart? Trying incorporating a few of these traits into your everyday persona.

Energy

Stuart emoted excitement. Unlike most anchors before him, he reacted when a homerun was hit or a touchdown was scored. Stuart shouted and cheered as exhilarating feats of athleticism were exhibited in the game. This is effective when narrating highlights, but it can also help you in the boardroom.

Too often, leaders try to appear as passive observers who are “above the fray.” This is necessary at times but overuse makes us appear out of touch and/or unconcerned. Don’t pretend you are unaffected. Get excited. Get loud.

Originality

When something great happens, have you said, “Boo-yah”? Thank Stuart. He created new sayings that became popular in mainstream culture. Stuart blended words and phrases that had never been used to describe sports from his complimentary “as cool as the other side of the pillow” to his trash talking “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school” to serenading with “Michael, Michael, Michael, can’t you see. Sometimes your threes just hypnotize me.”

Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays…Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us — with courage and love. – President Barak Obama

When you express yourself, add some style, some pizzazz. Combine new ideas to create something original. Make sure your name is associated with innovative ideas, not maintaining the status quo.

Authenticity

When you watched Stuart, you had the feeling he was just being himself. It was as if he was sitting on the couch next to you commenting on the game. One way Stuart did this was by speaking in a way genuine to him.

Every sentence doesn’t need to have perfect noun/verb agreement. I’ve said ‘ain’t’ on the air. Because I sometimes use ‘ain’t’ when I’m talking. ‘Cincinnati Bengals thought that they were going to go 12 and 4 this year—man, they ain’t going 12 and 4!’ – Stuart Scott

Don’t be afraid to show who you really are. It will not be as polished but you will appear more approachable, sincere, and honest. As Stuart said, “I’ll write that because I’m going to write like I talk.”

Effort

You can have all the catchy phrases in the world but it doesn’t matter if you lack substance. “I never found [Stuart] without a statistic to back up what he was saying,” said ESPN legend Dan Patrick. “He wanted you to know that he knew what he was talking about, and he never failed.” Even when he was feeling his worst, Stuart gave work his all.

He’d be tired, but once he sat down in the chair…he would just start to click in and get that zero focus…It was just Stuart Scott doin’ SportsCenter, havin’ fun. – John Buccigross, co-anchor

Inspiration

At the ESPYS, Stuart gave a rousing speech that became a rallying cry for millions of cancer patients and their families.

When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live. – Stuart Scott

However, more than a simple (yet eloquent) speech, Stuart lived a life that inspired people every day. He was true to himself and his beliefs. He was a dedicated father, a selfless friend, a proud advocate for numerous causes, and a genuinely good person. He was someone we should all aim to emulate. Boo yah!