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The GenWhy Leaders Podcast

Sep 21, 2020

Show overview:

In this episode we interview Kansas City Royals broadcaster, Joel Goldberg as part of our “Mentor Monday series”. He has been with the Royals for 13 seasons and hosts every pregame and postgame show. When he is not announcing baseball, he has another career in public speaking, where he has been featured by the MLB, the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Star, and others. Listen as he discusses his career broadcasting with the Royals and the importance of building authentic relationships.

Joel’s Why:

Joel always thought his “why” was living out his dream of talking about sports on TV. He realized that his “why” is actually the ability to provide a distraction for people through sports. He wants to help people and bring them joy, especially in 2020 which has been tough for many individuals around the world.

What are some of Joel’s favorite memories from all his years of broadcasting with the Royals?

Winning a world championship goes without saying. It is more about the people (restaurant owners, ushers, umpires, elevator operators) and less about the plays to him. One specific moment he mentioned was, the wildcard game and Salvador Perez catching a pop up to end a game and clinch the first playoff berth in 29 years. Joel has a lifetime’s worth of memories.

What is one of Joel’s favorite/least favorite Salvador Perez splashes?

Joel states his job is always fun except when there is cold weather. His favorite includes his birthday when Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez did the splash, then led the crowd in singing happy birthday. Another favorite includes when Drew Butera did the splash and offered to pay for Joel’s dry cleaning the next day. On the other hand, one year on a long road trip with minimal clothes, Salvy decided to use four cups of Gatorade which created endless blue droplets on a much needed coat. Salvy still teases Joel about complaining.

Joel has noticed how the Salvy Splash brings people together. People stay in their seats just to watch that moment. People are connected with Salvy. They adore his personality and the infectious joy he brings people.

What is Joel’s strategy for building relationships/networking?

Although Joel has 25 years of networking experience, he mentions how he believes he sometimes did this unintentionally. As a 22-year-old, he subscribed to a phone service that sent information of new TV job openings across the country. Every single submission he sent came back with a rejection. He then decided to pick up the phone and randomly start calling TV stations around the country. He would go to the TV stations for a meeting, only to end up getting a tour of the station and be introduced to people (for which he made sure to send thank you notes). He ended up landing a job and having stations reach out when they had an opening. He learned you have to connect with people.

Are there any specific times a relationship has benefited Joel?

In some ways that happens every day because of word of mouth. A specific moment was with Albert Pujols, with no camera or interview, when Joel asked for advice on Kansas City as a town to live in and Albert offered to rent his house to Joel. That led to him getting interviews with Albert and building credibility.

Does Joel think there are more or less than six degrees of separation?

Joel thinks there are less, even just in the social media world. There is a pretty good chance Joel knows someone who knows someone who knows Simon Sinek. That does not mean he will get through the gatekeeper, which is the challenge. You also do not want to put someone in a spot to ask for something that takes their credibility away.

How can you develop a longer lasting relationship beyond this digital era we live in?

You need to make sure you are not asking for something every time you communicate with someone. When you have a big ask, it will seem inauthentic if they have not heard from you in a year. It is best to ask when you have built a relationship with the person or gatekeeper. The first message on LinkedIn should not be soliciting.

Joel’s recommendations:

-          Simon Sinek

-          The Soul of Baseball Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski:

How to contact Joel:


Twitter: @goldbergkc