Courage, truth and bravery. Striving to be real, not perfect. Choosing to be vocal about your belief even if not everyone will agree. It's not being intimidated by the lack of support from your peers. Speaking up and not being afraid to ruffle feathers. Facing your fears with unyielding faith.
One benefit of my long years of involvement in sport is a developed understanding of human behaviour. Winning brings you together but it also can tear you apart. Either because of hubris, self-satisfaction or complacency, the journey to victory can be a unifying force, especially if it's a matter of defying the odds or going against the odds, turning pain into purpose.
By taking the road less travelled, you can find yourself and your true purpose in unexpected places. Involvement in sports can build the ability to connect with people on a deeper level. You learn to engage with people around you, stay in a state of curiosity, learn everything you can, see the big picture and the roles of people. But it's important not to lose connection with your purpose. Embrace the opportunity.
As a leader - even a leader of a team of one - how will you be your absolute best? How will you show up and excel? How do you attain your full potential? How do you avoid hubris?
What sparked these thoughts? A few things. The 2023 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, Trinidad and Tobago's 3-2 win over Guatemala, Disney's embrace of sport gambling via ESPN and my duties as a member of the Pan Am Sports Technical Commission at the Pan Am Games Santiago 2023 in Chile.
Angus Eve has faced significant criticism during his tenure as national coach but he has backed his vision, convictions and philosophy. The same can be said for the winning teams and coaches who made it to the Rugby World Cup semifinals in Paris, France. Who would have ever thought that Disney's wholesome family entertainment brand positioning would have one day embraced sport betting? That decision surely defies the odds regardless of what you may think of Disney's decision.
The decision made by the Chile National Olympic Committee to bid to host the Games and the decision of Pan Am Sports to award Santiago the Games is a leap of faith. It's never an easy challenge hosting a multi-sport Games. In the absence of clarity of purpose and a vision for the big picture success is unlikely, however, one may choose to define success.
Sport is like that, you can't hide, given the opportunity an individual, team or organisation can either be a place holder who fails to overcome the challenges of the moment or rise to the occasion. It's a process of growth in striving to be the best version of yourself as an individual and a collective. It's about committing to something, making a plan and sticking with it, executing and following through. Everyone has to do the right thing all the time. Everyone has to give, and everyone has to know what's expected and what they can expect.
The old paradigm of leadership, good governance, transparency and accountability is no longer fit for purpose. Recent developments have clearly signalled that the Olympic and Commonwealth sports movements are at a crossroads because of the old leadership paradigm. What's needed is a new paradigm of purpose-driven and conscious leaders and leadership with a focus on what truly matters. Those who have advocated for the new leadership paradigm must not relent. There is no turning back.
With money and power comes corruption - Patrick Nally