Leadership and sport organizations

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There are many things that affect and organization and how well it operates, however context of an organization plays a vital role on the level of leadership present in an organization.  When analyzing the organizational structure of any sport organization it is important for all people under the hierarchy to understand the overall message that is being displayed and conveyed throughout the organization.  It is important for the leader of the organization to appoint people with different skill sets and techniques that will all ultimately come together as one.  For example an NBA team, the players , assistant coaches, and the training staff have to respect the coaches' decision and trust the coach is going to make decisions that are for the betterment of the team.  This goes both ways, the coach has to be a great leader and must get everyone involved to believe in their philosophy so everyone is aimed at the same goals.  If mutual respect is present, this means things will run very smoothly and more effectively.   Often problems occur with players not agreeing to a coach's decision, for example if a coach doesn't play a certain player as much as that player wants to play.  The player should calmly and respectfully talk it over with the coach in order to diffuse the situation.  Often players forget they are professional athletes and they are selfish and put themselves in front of team goals.  I think this is an example of why most teams highly emphasize signing and developing players with good character.  It is also helpful for the coach to be a leader if the team consists of veteran players who respect and back up the coach and will tolerate any nonsense on the field/court or off.  An organization must have a certain direction in which they are aimed for the future.  If the organization is in need of chance it is important for management and coaches of an organization to begin the process of direction.  For example if you take a look at the Boston Celtics, they struggled to compete from 2000-2007 with few playoff appearances.  Management decided enough is enough, they went out and made trades and signed players to build a championship organization.  They collected certain pieces of the puzzle in order to build a special culture and set an achievable goal to win an NBA championship and make the Boston Celtics a contending franchise for many years to come.  In one year they had about ten players that never played with each other before and through hard work, dedication, and great leadership attained an NBA title.  This is a great example of successful and effective leadership within all levels of the organization.  These days leadership and effectiveness is often based on success, many organizations get overlooked because they are not successful at first.  Leadership must be implemented and sustained constantly over a long period of time.  Environment is a factor that may affect an organization the most.  A healthy work environment is important and necessary in order for leadership to exist in an organization.  Also people within an organization are more capable of performing their duties in a calm and stable environment rather than a chaotic and uncomfortable environment.  Operations tend to run smoothly and goals are achieved in a timely manner also in a healthy environment. 


I really enjoyed Tony’s blog about leadership in an organization, and I thought he used some great examples from the NBA. In one of his first examples, Tony mentions potential conflict that can result from a coach not giving a player the desired amount of playing time. I think this idea relates not only to leadership, but also to values and goals of an organization. It sounds like the Boston Celtics are an organization that values character development over athletic development and values team achievement over individual achievement. I believe it is definitely a leader’s responsibility to inspire the entire organization to work towards those goals and abide by those values. In addition to people in positions of power (i.e. coaches) being leaders toward values like character development and team achievement, I think people lower in the hierarchy also have the ability to lead others toward these values. For example, players themselves can lead by example and also by utilizing the trait leadership approach. If there is a player that is particularly well received by other players, he or she has the potential to lead his teammates and others in the organization to the aforementioned values.

I really enjoyed reading Tony’s blog about Leadership and Sport Organizations because I strongly agree with his main points. I especially agree with two points in particular, the fact that everyone under the hierarchy of an organization needs to understand the overall message that is being displayed and conveyed throughout the organization, and the importance of the leaders to not only set good examples and be great leaders but also to appoint the right people to the right jobs. Without everyone in the organization understanding the message that is to be conveyed there may be misunderstandings in how projects or certain tasks are to be accomplished and there may be confusion amongst fans and customers. The importance of the person with power, or the leader, to appoint the right people with the right set of skills cannot be emphasized enough. If the perfect people are not appointed to their perfect jobs the turnover rate will be high, and ultimately there will be a lack of trust and efficiency. - Samantha Hadley

After reading Tony's post, I really liked his example of the Boston Celtics. They had been a struggling team for so many years and were rarely in contention. They were always considered to be in a rebuilding state and as Tony said, they decided enough was enough. Danny Ainge brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to go along with fellow superstar Paul Pierce. I think one thing that goes overlooked in this decision, is that all three of the players had not won a championship. The three are all considered great team guys and they had the desire to work hard so they could become NBA champions. I believe there was a lot of thought put into this decision and that it definitely paid off.