According to Wharton legal studies professor Kenneth L. The greater visibility, Shropshire argues, provides us with an opportunity to address these leadership challenges head on. Shropshire recently spoke with Knowledge Wharton about his new book, published by Wharton Digital Press, which addresses these and other issues, Sport Matters: Leadership, Power, and the Quest for Respect in Sports.
Listen to the podcast at the top of this page. An edited transcript of the conversation follows. There has been a rash of incidents involving all of the sports industry where we have seen a loss of respect. That is something that you talk a lot about in Sport Matters.
This has been a pretty dramatic year.
What has it been that has really changed within the fabric of sports that has contributed to this grand change in how people respect the games—or do not respect the games—at the professional level, at the college level and even at the Little League level?
The short answer might be money and … the striving for success. More deeply, what has brought this to our attention is how easy it is to get information out. If you think about Donald Sterling, the Atlanta Hawks owner [Bruce Levenson,] Ray Rice, the incidents have been exposed in a way that we never saw before.
Historically, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig may have been up to a lot of things, but we did not know about it. It is [the media] that has revealed this huge respect—or lack of respect—issue that occurs in so many levels of sport. One of the cases that you discuss in the book involves the Miami Dolphins and their hazing case, which is interesting because you spent time with the Dolphins talking with them about what happened and how they can effect change within their organization.
I am still working with [owner] Steve Ross [but] not so much about the organization.
What he has done is really try to capture that moment—in the same way that I [have tried to do in] the book. How can you positively take the things that happen in sport and improve society?
How can you deliver the messages—and his focus is really at the youngest age—to kids and say, hey, if you are going to participate in sport, here are some other lessons you need to learn as well and you need to carry forward into life….
One of the things that we have struggled with as I have worked with him is it is not too difficult to think about how to work with kids and get them to understand all these important lessons about diversity, inclusion, respect and equality.
But how do you do it with adults? So we know what goes on there in a way that we did not know [before].After writing my latest book, Aaker on Branding, a book that contains an overview of 20 key branding principles, I included an epilogue that identifies 10 additional branding challenges to keep in mind as you work to build your initiativeblog.com you are involved with building a brand or brand portfolio, you will benefit from appraising how you are facing each of the challenges.
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