Thought lead­er­ship.

To have peo­ple with whom you can share thoughts an ideas with and re­ceive con­struc­tive crit­i­cism when need­ed that is found­ed on knowl­edge and a proven prac­ti­cal suc­cess track record is in­valu­able.

The last decade or so in the con­text of sports gov­er­nance, two in­ter­na­tion­al ex­perts that I have shared ideas, views and opin­ions with, have been Dr Leigh Robin­son and Michael Ped­er­sen.

Dr Robin­son was my the­sis su­per­vi­sor when I read for an Ex­ec­u­tive Mas­ters De­gree in Sports Or­gan­i­sa­tion Man­age­ment in 2006. My re­search project was fo­cused on sports gov­er­nance in T&T. Dr Robin­son is one of my men­tors and has been in­flu­en­tial in my ap­proach and think­ing about sports gov­er­nance.

Michael and I in re­cent years spent a lot of time when­ev­er we met de­bat­ing and ques­tion­ing the sa­cred cows of glob­al and Olympic sports gov­er­nance. They were both im­mense­ly sup­port­ive in my de­ci­sion to ini­tial­ly run for the pres­i­den­cy of the T&T Olympic (TTOC) com­mit­tee in the face (at that point in time) of the non-sup­port of TTOC ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee col­leagues and sub­se­quent­ly to seek re-elec­tion.

They chal­lenged me and kept push­ing me to step up to the plate and be a change agent and fear­less ad­vo­cate for good sports gov­er­nance and the prin­ci­ples that frame good gov­er­nance.

Any­time you are work­ing to achieve some­thing you are go­ing against the cur­rent. Of­ten the opin­ions of the peo­ple around you are try­ing to push and pull you away. They will say you can't do it, you are mak­ing a mis­take, it's im­pos­si­ble, you will fail. The more out-of-the-box your think­ing is, the stronger the push-back can be. Any­time you at­tempt to break out of the mould and box that peo­ple per­ceive you to be in their minds and eyes, they take it that you are mess­ing with their world­view.

Re­mem­ber you can al­ways change some­thing when you take own­er­ship and re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for it.

To­day's col­umn is ded­i­cat­ed to my good friend Michael Ped­er­sen, founder of M INC- Change the Game. Michael af­ter years of try­ing to fit in a vis­it to T&T for car­ni­val in­to his busy sched­ule was able to do so and was due to ar­rive in Trinidad on Sun­day to wit­ness car­ni­val and be a key pre­sen­ter at this year's Sports In­dus­try TT con­fer­ence on March 7. Tick­et and Ac­com­mo­da­tion booked since Oc­to­ber last year.

Dan­ish-born Michael, an In­ter­na­tion­al ex­pert on sports gov­er­nance, in­tend­ed to present on the busi­ness case for good sports gov­er­nance. We were both ex­cit­ed and look­ing for­ward to his vis­it. Last week, I re­ceived the news that Michael a keen fit­ness en­thu­si­ast suf­fered a heart at­tack while out on his morn­ing walk in the hills near his home in Mala­ga, Spain.

RIP Michael. My sin­cer­est con­do­lences to his fam­i­ly and par­ents Karen Marie and Jor­gen Ped­er­sen.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the Pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the views ex­pressed are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.