Val Ackerman: “Is Gender a Factor When It Comes to Leadership?”

Columbia University Professor and former President of the WNBA, Val Ackerman, has written an fantastic article for ESPN W entitled: “Is Gender a factor when it comes to leadership?”   Here is an excerpt, but for the entire article please go to the  link provided below.

The topic of leadership in the business world has been widely dissected, and in sports, as in other business segments, examples of both good leaders and bad leaders abound. I co-teach (with Neal Pilson, an eminently respected sports media executive) a class at Columbia University about leadership in the sports industry. In it, we address the styles and traits of good leaders, as well as the various disciplines (decision-making, communication, planning, etc.) that we believe leaders in sports would do well to master in order to be successful.
Interestingly enough, one of the dimensions of leadership that Neal and I have not explored in our class is gender. Neal likes to say that “leaders come in all shapes and sizes,” and if anything, our curriculum is gender-neutral — meaning that the traits and skills we cover can and should apply to any leader, men and women alike. For my part, I’ve deliberately made gender a non-issue with our students, choosing instead to focus on personal qualities (Are you an optimist? Can you hold up under pressure?), core competencies (Are you a good communicator? Do you know how to manage your time?) and substance (Do you understand profit and loss? How would you describe your target audience?) that would work for any and all. 
But having worked in the sports world for more than 20 years, and having seen the relative (and continued) scarcity of women in key roles, I often think about how gender plays into leadership in sports and whether it can be said that sports are, or could ever be, truly gender-neutral on this subject. . .  
 Thanks Val.  Great stuff.

The NFL & NFLPA Agree on Something: Judge Nelson’s Ruling Needs Clarification.

The former NFL Players’ Association filed a brief asking that U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson clarify her order lifting the lockout imposed by the NFL Owners and are scheduled to file a second brief arguing why a stay requested by the NFL and the Owners should not be granted.  The Owners’, not to be outdone and to keep their billable rates on par, are scheduled to file their own request for clarification.

The issue being that Judge Nelson did not indicate in her 89 page written decision when the league year should begin, when the players will be allowed back to work, when free agency signings can occur, or if there is a preferable economic system.

Since there is ambiguity in the Judge’s order, the National Football League and the individual team owners have decided to wait on implementing any conditions which will allow the players to return to work until U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson clarifies her ruling and determines whether or not to stay the decision while the NFL exercises it’s right to an appeal.

An 89-page decision and neither side can figure out what to do – amazing.

Washington Redskin Albert Haynesworth Charged with Sexual Abuse

Washington Redskins defensive lineman and multi-millionaire Albert Haynesworth has been indicted and charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse.  The charges stem from an incident wherein he allegedly slid a credit card down the front of a waitresses’ dress and fondled her breast while in a Washington D.C. hotel restaurant back in February 2011.

Mr. Haynesworth, like so many other professional athletes it seems, is no stranger to the justice system. He currently is scheduled for trial in May 2011 for allegedly punching a man during a “road-rage” incident.  In addition, he has pending legal issues involving his former bank, an exotic dancer, a man injured in an automobile accident, and complaints from his ex-wife that he failed to pay health insurance premiums for his children.

Mr. Haynesworth was also suspended without pay for the final four games of the 2010 NFL season.  His suspension was for “conduct detrimental to the club” after he feuded with head coach Mike Shanahan, missed offseason workouts, and failed a conditioning test at the start of training camp.

Mr. Hayneswoth maintains his innocence, but if convicted, he is exposed to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The good news is that Mr. Haynesworth will have plenty of money to pay his legal fees since the Washington Redskins thought he was a man of outstanding citizenship and deserving of a seven-year, $100 million contract.