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USPA Global Licensing president's vision for success

Oct '20
Pic: PRNewswire
Pic: PRNewswire
J Michael Prince, the president and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, attributes his success to his willingness to build on his responsibilities, learn from his mentors, collaborate with others, and say "yes" to new and challenging opportunities. Anyone who is looking to advance in their career must look at the big picture, and set short- and long-term goals.

Prince’s career is marked with pivots that led him to chief financial officer and chief operating officer roles at brands such as Nike, Converse, Cole Haan, and Guess?.

Now, as the president and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, the licensing arm of the United States Polo Association, Prince oversees the multi-billion-dollar global US Polo Assn brand. Prince credits his success thus far to his willingness to build on his responsibilities, embrace lessons from his mentors, collaborate with others, and say "yes" to new and challenging opportunities.

"Looking back, my finance background gave me the solid foundation I needed to build my career," says Prince, "Back then, I knew I needed to pivot from being viewed as a good finance person to being a great business leader with a global perspective spanning brand, commerce, strategy, product, and more, in order to keep moving forward in my career."

Growth and self-awareness are two recurring themes throughout his career. After receiving his MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, he knew there was more for him to accomplish. So, in 2005, he embarked on the world of global fashion and retail when a business school classmate reached out to him about a position at Converse.

The opportunity to lead the company's finance and accounting team was steeped in value as he was able to work with a sports-centric global brand, and alongside world-class athletes including Dwyane Wade, all the while learning from top executives at Nike and Converse. Prince credits this pivot to be the most important of his career as it served as a launching pad for his work in the global fashion industry.

But it didn't take long for him to notice that very few general managers had finance backgrounds. Most had experience in brand and product. Leveraging his keen sense of self-awareness, he knew he had to make a change and expand his expertise if he wanted to grow. Then, in 2009, he was promoted to chief financial officer for all Nike Affiliates including Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley, and Umbro.

This experience gave him the runway to gain a deeper understanding of these complex and diverse businesses and realise that, if he wanted to succeed, he'd have to transition from being a scorekeeper to a playmaker in the industry.

With this in mind, Prince began creating forward-thinking strategies and highlighting growth opportunities and operational improvements. This willingness to roll up his sleeves and get to work, take risks, and tackle new challenges helped him evolve and gain confidence. This confidence gave him the clarity he needed to realise his full potential in areas such as brand and digital marketing as well as leadership and mentorship.

Prince urges anyone who is looking to advance in their career to look at the big picture, set short- and long-term goals accordingly, and be willing to adapt along the way.

When a person comes face to face with a big opportunity, Prince says, "You have to do everything you can and give everything you have to seize that moment. You might succeed or you could fail, but what's important is you don't have any regrets."

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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