Get To Know: Ron Newsome

Manager, Diversity and Community Impact | NBCUniversal / NBC Sports

Ron Newsome: Get To Know

Ron Newsome, manager of diversity and community impact for NBCUniversal / NBC Sports, shares his thoughts on "looking beyond the present," being laser focused and how a restaurant owner has impacted his life.

The First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Ron Newsome: I’m responsible for driving the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the areas of workforce, community and content within the NBC Sports Next business division.

TFC: What is your handicap index?
RN: 15.

TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
RN: I typically wake at around 6 a.m. every morning, due to my previous military background, and generally start no later than 7 a.m.

TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
RN: I think good leadership can be obtained first and foremost if you have integrity. Having worked in human resources for several years, I can't implore leaders enough to understand how important integrity is to their success, their employees success and ultimately the success of the company. 

In addition, I think the ability to make well thought out organizational decisions is paramount in the effectiveness of a leader. Taking the time to listen to your employees and analyze the metrics in order to be decisive can go a long way in creating the type of trust and credibility a leader needs in order to leverage that into productivity.

TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year?
RN: If anything, this past year has allowed me to be more flexible in the way I work, live and play. In the past I've been very structured in my day to day, but now I understand that there are alternatives to accomplishing your overall goal. That has actually helped me enjoy things more.

TFC: What's the secret to your success?
RN: I have always attributed my success to looking beyond the present.  When taking on tasks or new projects, I'm not only thinking about the final execution, but I'm also thinking about the positive and/or negative impact of the project and how can this be leveraged to make an even larger contribution or impact to the team or organization. Thinking ahead has always kept me and my brand relevant.

TFC: Who is your role model?
RN: I actually have several and usually try to extract certain components from each of them. My more recent role model is a gentlemen by the name of Michael Chernow, who started a restaurant called The Meatball Shop in New York City. His story of how he got started, to what it's grown to present day is just so inspiring. He has this uncanny way of taking on challenges because they initially seem impossible, but then he does the little things and takes the little steps to eventually make the challenge very obtainable. His approach to life, health and family are really commendable and I try to impart a lot of that into my life.

TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
RN: I would definitely tell the younger Ron to focus more on being an A-plus student in one thing versus being a B-minus student in a lot of things. I think the most successful people are those who are laser focused on one thing and try to excel at that one thing and learn everything there is to know about that one thing.

TFC: What’s the last book you read?
RN: The last book I read was "The Way of the Seal" by Mark Divine. It provides a number of skills that you can build on and develop for leadership and goal-attaining purposes. The book talks about lessons in leadership and life that are applicable to business, personal life and any challenges you may face, and trains you to think and act like an elite warrior.

TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
RN: I just saw a movie called "Match Point" starring Scarlett Johansson that was pretty good. I pride myself on knowing what will happen at the end of most movies, but what happened at the climax of this movie I didn't see coming at all. I highly recommend it.

TFC: What’s on your playlist?
RN: I've been downloading a lot of old-school hip hop songs that I haven't listened to in a long time. The songs that bring back memories from high school and college.

TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
RN: With my daughter on the golf course, with my son at some baseball field for one his games or with my wife at one of her favorite restaurants.

TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
RN: About three years ago I started getting into luxury watches and it has become an obsession. I bought my first Rolex about three years ago and it is definitely my prize possession, along with a few more that I haven't told my wife about.

TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
RN: About seven years ago, I accepted a job with GolfNow, an online booking service for tee times at golf courses, as a human resources manager. In my new role as the manager of diversity and community impact, I still get a chance to support the golf industry and community in ways I think are valuable to the growth of the game. 

My key responsibility is to drive our "Better Together" initiative, which helps to create a more diverse workforce. At the same time it creates a more inclusive culture to execute our philanthropic activities to be more impactful in the community in which we work and live, and also to create and support content that is reflective of our society. 

TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
RN: I love to play Paiute Golf Resort in Las Vegas. The views there are spectacular, the course is immaculate and I've always won some money from my friends every time we've played there. I would say TPC Sawgrass is my second favorite and that just speaks for itself.