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April 26, 2023

To Serve or Not to Serve? That is the Question.

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By Pen Moodz

Man. Where does one begin? When you bring two juggernauts like David Fatoki and Mark Starkey to the table to talk Biz, there’s only one task assigned and that is to listen. And listen we did.


Because David Fatoki at just 28 years-old earned himself the position of General Manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Golden State Warriors G-League affiliate team. A trajectory reserved only for the few that possess not only the commercial savviness of business, but the soft-skills of understanding relationships and the commerce of personalities.

Seated beside David you have Mark, who stands with a figure as towering as Goliath. A former NCAA Division I hooper turned rainmaker. Graduating from the hardwood to the executive life as a professional at Nike, he turned his passion for sport into a business with Victory – an experiential marketing agency that works alongside the biggest brands in the world.

Do you get what I’m saying now? We were in the room with heavyweights. Might as well have been sitting with Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

While the comparison may seem outlandish to some, it’s actually quite apt because of the demeanor they both walk with. Sharp as ever, but still as water that runs deeper than 20,000 leagues under the sea. For my Gen Z squadron, do yourself a favour and read the Jules Verne novel. It’s incredible. You can thank me later.

But back to the Biz, listening to the conversation live and then playing it back was special. Largely because the conversation between Denis, Starkey and Fatoki almost felt philosophical. Their practices and habits very much intentional. From selecting players, staff and coaches to onboarding new clients their approach to business centered around one question:

How can I serve you?

For Starkey, we learned that serving is a foundational part of his DNA, of Victory’s DNA, which was equally echoed by Fatoki. To lead organizations that move at the level and pace of the Warriors and Victory, you must lead from a servant’s heart, so that you can empower the workforce that surrounds you, who to Starkey’s point will also lead you in your journey as a leader. So, for those still reading, regardless of where you are in your journey, you all have magic to impart. You all have something to share with the world, and if you find yourself within the 15–30-year-old range looking to break into the Biz, then share your energy, your ideas, your enthusiasm and your resourcefulness. Let your wonder and curiosity emanate from your chest, so that others can see the gifts within you that you may have missed yourself.

If this blog felt philosophical for y’all, then thank Mark and David. I’m on my Phil Jackson Seven Rings type energy and close this post with the burning of some sage. I hope the purpose I feel permeates through your screens, because soon I will be writing about you, my future stars.

Peace and Love,