Sport is motivational, inspirational, aspirational and a positive catalyst for healthy lifestyles and attitudes.
It facilitates social cohesion, equity, social justice and fair play.
Many have the naïve impression that all sport leaders understand and live the positive ideals and purpose of sport.
Many believe, somewhat naively, that all sport leaders put the best interest of sport ahead of their self-interest.
Many believe that all sport leaders exceed and deliver on the promises made.
Sport is omnipresence.
Successful leaders love change, whereas the unsuccessful do everything they can to keep things from changing.
Successful leaders look at how the world around them is changing and focus and embrace ways to improve what they are doing. Change is not something to resist.
The willingness to accept change is a great quality of successful leaders.
The most successful go beyond mere change and challenge traditional thinking. They challenge traditional thinking and traditions and create new ways of doing things. They disrupt that which is already working in order to get to a better place. Indeed they don’t allow traditional thinking to hold them back.
Grant Cardone put it best when he said successful leaders were called thought leaders who design the future with forward thinking.
It’s not change for change sake but it’s the willingness to challenge tradition and find new and better ways to accomplish goals and objectives.
If sport is to reach goals previously thought impossible and correctly set goals and guarantee their achievement and create unprecedented levels of success, the leadership deficit must be addressed. Success is overcoming a challenge. Sport, like life, can be quite brutal.
Great leaders anticipate and solve problems, they make situations better not worse.
Why is there a leadership deficit? The reasons are many and include; living in the past and doing everything possible to keep things from changing.
Sport leaders need to accept responsibility for the problems, mistakes and missteps and take immediate actions to address the leadership deficit.
Stop being apathetic. The barrage of controversies and bacchanal will continue once sport leaders keep making excuses for their shortcomings and mistakes and refuse to accept responsibility for what happens on their watch.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said the respect of partners was indispensable for the autonomy of sport.
“We earn this respect through responsibility and reliability, by using our autonomy responsibly and acting reliably.
“Sport is completely dependent on its credibility, ie on the credibility of sports competitions and on the credibility and reputation of sports organisations.”
In a nutshell good governance and integrity matters. Sport stake holders and partners should demand nothing less. Sport leaders who don’t measure up and are creating more problems than they solve should be held accountable for their decisions and mistakes and actions.
Incompetence, fraud, misappropriation, corruption, abuse and misuse of office must not be swept under the carpet.
Ignoring the problems and hiding the truth will not make the problems go away. They will only get worse.
Most times, anyway, leaders who are beneficiaries of a slap on the wrist become serial offenders, hubristic and a law on to their own selves.
When they eventually leave office they leave deep almost intractable problems known and unknown that have to be solved. The challenge then becomes solving those problems while at the same time protecting the good name, reputation and image of sport.
Taking responsibility changes everything’. You have to step up. Ask yourself what part am I playing and what is the one thing I can do?
How do sport organisations, sport stakeholders respond to this crisis in leadership?
In times of crises, you must have the courage to stand up and take responsibility, anything else will be useless.
Brian Lewis is the President of T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the National Olympic Committee.