by Graham Boone ’09

I love action movies.

You name it—from classic franchises like Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne, and anything including James Bond—to the formulaic and over-the-top flicks like Armageddon, The Rock, and anything including Mark Wahlberg. I’m hooked.

Within most of these movies there arises the obligatory “time bomb” scene. The music crescendos, the sweat drips from the hero’s brow, and they lean over the bomb during its waning seconds to make the choice: which wire?

Choose properly and save the day. Choose poorly and, well…

While I work in the entertainment sphere, I am certainly not the hero of any movie and my decisions are far from life-and-death. However my ability to make a concise, swift decision can mean the difference in thousands, sometimes millions of dollars for Tandem’s clients.

boone-1As I make my way through my formative professional years, I continue to see the value in the capacity to make decisions. I have no illusion that my meager five years in the sports industry give me authority on the subject, but I have gathered that success is rarely achieved with hesitancy. There is power in efficiently analyzing information and then directly conveying your opinion, recommendation or action on an item.

During the day-to-day work of an interpersonal client relationship, such as the player-agent relationship, I am required to not only “read and react” to swift market changes, but also to demonstrate to my client my ability to confidently recommend a course of action. Think of your relationship with any advisor: attorney, financial planner or otherwise.  I doubt that you hear words such as “maybe,” “unsure,” or “I hope.”

boone-2Crucial to the relationship is trust and confidence in your advisor’s judgment, not lack thereof. This is especially true when working with players in their mid-twenties (or younger) that work in such a high-profile and high-pressure industry as the NBA.

I must give credit where it is due, as I work in an environment cultivated around the idea of empowering individual voices. This environment is the brainchild of Jim Tanner (Morehead-Cain Class of 1990) and I am fortunate that he has enabled my voice and encouraged me—even after failures—to routinely make judgments and assessments on the company’s behalf.

So of the many lessons that I’ve learned from Jim (and action films), the value of decision-making may have benefited me the most. What is the value of being meek?  What is the risk of indecision?

boone-3If you choose properly you can save the day. But if you choose poorly—or don’t choose at all–the bomb is going to explode.


Graham Boone is the Director of Basketball Operations at Tandem Sports + Entertainment LLC