Question: How did you end up pursuing such diverse challenges? Did you set out to be a renaissance man?
Answer: It just happened. I've always had enough curiosity and enough energy I guess that when new opportunities come along I say, "Why not?" I haven't mapped anything out, quite honestly. My modus operandi has always been do the best at whatever it is that's in front of you and something good will happen from that. If not, you'll still feel good about the fact that you did the best at whatever you were doing. In some cases, it was more guts than brains.
Q: What do you mean?
A: I did stuff that maybe from a risk-calculation standpoint I probably shouldn't have done: I left O'Melveny & Myers then the biggest law firm to join Chuck Manatt in the San Fernando Valley with three guys. A year into that I left them to join Jack Kent Cooke.
Q: That seems like a great opportunity.
A: It was a great opportunity but (Cooke's) reputation was that he was the toughest guy in the world and impossible to work for. My attitude was, OK, he could be, but what's the worst that could happen? He chews me up and spits me out and I'm practicing law again. That's what I was going to do anyway, so what have I got to lose? When the World Cup opportunity came along, I thought that's so exciting. Starting a bank is similar.
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