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Nate’s Notes 66: Travis Goff | Likability and Mindfulness

By April 21, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

Travis Goff

Director of Athletics at the University of Kansas

Travis Goff is both wildly successful and likable and it’s no surprise, given the lessons he shared today.


Likability is often undervalued. While it may be better to be respected than liked, it’s often possible to be both respected and liked. For Travis, it’s not about trying to be liked for the sake of being liked. But by treating people the right way and doing the right thing, people will often like us.

As Travis’ career has progressed, and as he’s worked with countless stakeholders from players, coaches, fans, alumni, and boosters, he’s come to appreciate just how powerful it is to be both respected and liked…and how if you’re not liked, you’re likely working from a deficit.


Be mindful, humble, and appreciative of the opportunities you have, even while striving to achieve more. If we get overly obsessed with ambition and our next step, we may miss some of the opportunities for growth. Things that would have stretched or strained Travis not too long ago are now squarely in his comfort zone, because he was able to soak up the opportunities from his previous roles.

In summary, be likable and mindful.

It’s a simple idea. Please take it seriously.

Travis Goff Bio:

Travis Goff is the Athletic Director at the University of Kansas. Travis spent the previous twenty years as a development administrator at multiple universities, including Kansas, Tulane, and Northwestern. And then in 2021, Travis returned to Kansas as Athletic Director, the same year the men’s basketball team won the national championship.

Travis is an incredible fundraiser. At Tulane he was responsible for leading a $70 million athletics fundraising campaign. While Travis was at Northwestern, the school raised more than $460 million. His fundraising success and ambition continues at KU, where he just announced a $335 fundraise for the football stadium and surrounding area.

Travis is also known for enhancing culture through value-based leadership and inclusivity, while promoting student-athlete wellness.

I hope you enjoy learning from Travis Goff today, because I certainly did.

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