Who Is Michael Ovitz

“My pitch ran the risk of sounding fulsome: another salesman, full of blarney. But it’s only blarney if you can’t make it happen. If you can, then it’s the truth—and the truth is the supreme sales tool.”
“The entertainment business was an infrared system. When you got hot, people gravitated toward your heat, which made you hotter.”
“We were better controllers than the studios, I believe, because we put the artists first. We had to, because in an important sense we had more at stake on every package than the studio did. All it could lose on a bomb was a lot of money, but we could lose a group of top clients. So we worked hard to assemble packages geared to clients’ talents and needs, and to build their careers thoughtfully.”
“Lying, to me, is a point-blank misstatement with no purpose in mind. I viewed what we did as positioning, molding, manipulating: taking fact sets and making them work for the result we wanted.”
“There’s always another race and another racetrack.”
“CAA came to subscribe to nemawashi, the Japanese style of bottom-up consensus. We didn’t hire anyone from outside until they’d met with and been approved by the whole department. The process made onboarding smooth, easing new talent into the company. (It helped that we promoted two people for each one we imported.) No one questioned our calls because they’d already signed off on them.”
“Then I added that one way to conceptualize how to think in business is a martial-arts precept: “If you aim at the target, you lose all your power. You have to hit through the target to really smash it.” To get where you want to go, you have to set out to go even further.”