Blog 8

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When the 4 speakers came to class and spoke of the merger of the University of Minnesota men's and women's department, it was interesting to hear of the whole process starting in 2002. I found it interesting how Joel Maturi made his first decision by allowing the student athletes to vote on which M they would use in representing the new merged department as one. The leadership style of Joel seems to fit well with all of the student athletes when he sends out weekly emails discussing issues regarding them. He also knows most of their names and attends so many different events to show the athletes that he cares and that he wants to be an important figure within their lives. The cross country coach Gary Wilson informed us that he did not have that much of a role, but you can clearly see that he played a significant role behind the scenes helping get the other coaches on board. Over hearing other coaches bad mouth the new system and hearing of this, by stepping in and confronting the situation he was able to try and fix the problem or point the angry coach in the direction to communicate with the person that needs the issue addressed directly too. Talking behind one another's back only causes issues within a changed program as opposed to communicating directly your concerns and trying to address them. As Gary and Joel both said it does no good to try and cause friction once the decision has been made to merge. You must move forward and find a way to be happy with the administration's decision. Standing behind your leadership and making peace with the decisions they make will only help for a smooth transition. One of the more frustrating things when you are a leader is the same person coming into your office complaining about one decision after another. As a leader I know from personal experience that you can never make everyone happy and you will just wear yourself down to the point of absolute frustration. I have dealt with this several times. On a couple different occasions I have dealt with a couple soldiers that you cannot please no matter what you try. They want your job and they enjoy working behind your back. One thing I noticed from the 4 person panel is that when it came to answering questions on conflict and resolution, they seemed to slide around those conversations. I have a feeling that there were more issues that have been kept secret than they led on. I think the media can make these situations worse by always digging up the controversy in everything in order to make a good news story that will sell. Overall I thought the work that these people did was remarkable to bring the two departments together in a merger.

1 Comment

I really thought the presentation with Joel, Regina, Kathy, and Gary was very interesting. The merger is an amazing thing that has happened in our university. It is such a huge step to take in the athletic department. I agree with Bryan in that it would be exremely frustrating for Joel to have the same person coming into your office complaining about one decision after another. That would be one of the hardest things for me to be able to function with someone like that. Some people are never sattisfied, but with a merger like this, people need to form together to overcome the conflict that inevitably arises with situations like this