Business and Basketball: What Playing for a National Championship-Winning Team Taught This CEO About Leadership

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Business and Basketball: What Playing for a National Championship-Winning Team Taught This CEO About Leadership

Mat Ishbia

Posted on May 7, 2019

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On this week’s donothing podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Why Mat chose to play a back-up role in a powerhouse basketball program rather than be a star player at a smaller school
  • What significant life and leadership lessons Mat learned while playing at MSU
  • Why it’s important to properly handle victory and defeat
  • Why Tom Izzo is his biggest business influence
  • How business leadership and basketball constantly overlap
  • Why Mat chose a career in the business world rather than coaching basketball
  • How UWM grew from 13 to over 3,000 under Mat’s leadership
  • Why Mat calls the morning huddles the most important part of the day
  • How Mat translates his lessons learned as an MSU player into the workplace
  • Why competitiveness is both Mat’s best and worst trait
  • What UWM does to help employees achieve a work-life balance
  • Why Mat discourages his team from working more than 40 hours a week
  • How UWM works to treat its team like family
  • What the “Firm 40” means within UCM—and how it makes for a better organization
  • Why an openness to change is integral to positive business growth
  • Why UWM integrated additions like a coffee shop, doctor’s office, grocery store and more into its headquarters
  • How Mat balances his demanding job with family life
  • Why showing appreciation to his employees is a key part of his leadership
  • Where Mat would rather be than playing a round of golf

Whereas most successful high-level executives point to business juggernauts like Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk as their biggest inspirations, Mat Ishbia attributes his own extraordinary career trajectory to a different kind of leader—acclaimed Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo.

After winning an NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship title under Izzo’s leadership, Mat took the lessons he learned on the court like top-down respect, family-like teamwork and constant hard work into the corporate world. Today, Mat is the President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) with more than 3,000 team members. Listen to his story on this week’s donothing podcast.

Mat’s a visionary who combines a keen business mind with a unique ability to create an award-winning corporate culture that has been lauded nationally. UWM has been recognized as a Tech-Savvy Lender by Mortgage Technology magazine and the gold standard for client service, both within the mortgage industry and across the general business landscape.

His high-energy, relentless pursuit for innovation and pragmatic perspective of the mortgage industry has accelerated UWM as the number one wholesale lender and number two overall purchase lender in the nation.

Mat is also one of the “Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40” and a Vanguard Award winner by HousingWire. He’s also widely recognized as a prominent advocate for mortgage brokers nationwide, promoting wholesale mortgage brokers on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg TV.


Connect with Mat Ishbia

Connect with United Wholesale Mortgage

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