Last month SMBA ’15 took a break from number crunching to take part in Steve Gera’s (SMBA ’07) Leadership and the Sports MBA class. Gera previously worked as the special assistant and Head of Innovation for the Cleveland Browns. He oversaw the logistics of the team’s practice logistics, conditioning program and mental health, which he explained to our class in detail. Hearing Steve speak about his innovative performance model program with an NFL team and his overall philosophies about leadership put this journey that lies ahead into perspective for me.
Although our time was limited with Steve, I found the sessions enlightening because he challenged us to evaluate what we wanted to accomplish over the next year and a half. From “The Innovator’s DNA” to “Ferguson’s Formula,” we reflected on our assignments and engaged in three days of talking about sports and the business of sport. And boy, can our class talk! As one of the few in our class who recently decided on a change in career paths, I can’t help but feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this year’s cohort. The level of discussion and engagement our class demonstrates is refreshing because it is apparent that our passion for sports is what drives us.
So what does it take to be a leader? More importantly, what does it take be a leader in the world of sports? The language of sports is universal – understood and enjoyed by all. Whether you are a current MBA student, or just a sports enthusiast, I leave you with the final thought Steve left us with: Encourage the heart and aim toward exemplifying transformational leadership.
As we continue to discover our class culture over the next year and a half, even if we think we don’t have the innate traits of a leader, we can all work together to push each other to become the emerging professionals we aspire to be.