My Athletic Director Philosophy

As part of a leadership training course that I am doing to become a registered Athletic Administrator (http://www.niaaa.org/), I was asked to come up with my leadership philosophy:

“Hard work is the foundation. Have balance, be a good communicator. Take ownership. These are crucial skills to have in order to be an effective leader. Have humility, respect people. Listening to people helps you to connect to them and build strong relationships. You build relationships by respecting people, being humble, listening, telling the truth and having integrity. Have the ability to deal with egos and strong personalities. Leaders need to be able to use different communication tools to manage situations fairly.

Be honest, show integrity, take ownership, be humble, and listen to people above and below you. Take ownership of problems and mistakes. Build professional relationships with your staff that are built on respect and trust. As a leader you need to have the ability to ask good questions, and seek good answers. It is important for a leader to always treat people with respect, to weigh decisions carefully and to seek the council of your staff. It is ok as a leader to not know everything, by admitting to those things you don’t know, you will gain respect and boost your reputation as an honest and humble person. Effective leaders aren’t driven by ego, rather they will focus on the goals that have been set and how to best accomplish them.

Your coaches and athletes need guidance about what the expectations of them are, and then coached into reaching these expectations. The student-athlete experience is the most important thing to concentrate on as an Athletic Director. The focus should be on helping student-athletes to become better people as well as better athletes. In order to do this, coaches need to be better coaches. Listen to the coaches and help them improve through coach-education and good leadership.”

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