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Archive: Sports leadership

Ohio State's Tressel: The danger of sticking by your stars

Tressel may be an Ohio State icon, but it's Smith's and Gee's job to remember that even stars fall to Earth, and have to play by the rules.

By Jena McGregor | March 9, 2011; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (5)

NFL lockout? In this union fight, no sympathy for the owners

The debate between governors and public sector employee unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states may be foremost in many politicians' minds, but the union fight that matters most to many Americans is going on in the NFL.

By Jena McGregor | March 4, 2011; 09:31 AM ET | Comments (13)

The dangerous cult of the star coach

Once lost, a star coach--or any acclaimed leader--can be hard to replace. But replacing the culture of no accountability that's grown up around him can be much, much harder.

By Jena McGregor | February 25, 2011; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (3)

Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers' unique team leadership

Who knows whether Green Bay's focus on developing more leaders and rotating the job between team members will make a difference this weekend. It's hard to know whether McCarthy's leadership system will be the reason Green Bay misses a tackle, intercepts the ball or scores consistently in the red zone come February 6. But it's hard to argue it isn't a big part of why a team with some of the youngest players in the NFL is playing in its biggest game Sunday night.

By Jena McGregor | February 4, 2011; 08:20 AM ET | Comments (4)

Redskins' Snyder: Reputation management in a digital age

By bringing attention to an otherwise fairly obscure publication, Snyder's suit is only calling more attention to the reputation concerns he bemoans.

By Jena McGregor | February 3, 2011; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (57)

BCS: Time for a change?

As anyone who pays even a smidgen of attention to college football is well aware, the controversy over the Bowl Championship Series, which pairs conference champions in four major games as well as a national title match-up, may be the longest running debate in sports.

By Jena McGregor | January 3, 2011; 09:21 AM ET | Comments (13)

UConn's Auriemma: Breaking Wooden's streak

Auriemma has been called arrogant--something few would ever ascribe to Wooden, college basketball's patron saint. He may not be long on feel-good inspirational mottoes, but Auriemma's record speaks for itself.

By Jena McGregor | December 22, 2010; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (19)

Jayson Werth: Nats get a taste of managing star power

But unlike the Red Sox or the Yankees, the Nats roster isn't already studded with highly paid, elite free agents. To set the team on a winning spree, Rizzo won't just have to bring on more top talent--though that is a necessity, no matter how great Werth may be, as the pressure to do it all himself is a setup for failure. He'll also have to navigate the egos of the young players already on National Park's field, who'll be making room for Werth's big contract and big status on a team not traditionally home to big stars.

By Jena McGregor | December 16, 2010; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (4)

Florida Gators' coach Urban Meyer calls it quits--right?

I highly doubt Florida will have been Meyer's last coaching gig, or that it'll take him long to find his next one. But the pressure cooker that is any top leadership job is indeed stressful enough for one to want some time off to spend with the people they love but never see.

By Jena McGregor | December 9, 2010; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (32)

On McNabb contract timing, Redskins management suffers a big loss, too

Surely, then, the Redskins management didn't plan on throwing millions at their star talent on the very day his worth to the Redskins team might be most seriously called into question. But they could have planned the announcement so that it didn't happen on the exact same day as a big game with a top team where such headline-grabbing comparisons would inevitably be made.

By Jena McGregor | November 16, 2010; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (20)

Leaders need to 'pass' on the sports cliches

When the sports analogy gets overplayed, it ceases to be useful. Not because people don't understand it, but because it's more likely to have your people rolling their eyes than feeling motivated to work better or smarter. The manager who talks about fumbling the ball when something goes wrong, or using the hurry-up offense on a competitor, or being in the red zone when quarterly numbers are close to being met sounds like a caricature, not a leader.

By Jena McGregor | October 8, 2010; 06:44 AM ET | Comments (10)

Redskins: A lesson in low expectations

usiness teams, too, have a way of overlooking the possibility of their competitions' success. There's a whole genre of "disruptive innovators," a term coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christenson's work, in which companies get blindsided by unexpected competitors or new strategies of their opponents.

By Jena McGregor | September 27, 2010; 09:04 AM ET | Comments (1)

Not worth the drama at FedEx Field

In the end, Shanahan needs to do more than just try and quiet the chatter and questions about Haynesworth. Whether it's letting him go or taking extraordinary disciplinary measures, decisive action will be needed, not only to reach the finale of the Haynesworth squabble, but to set the stage for a Redskins future that's drama-free.

By Jena McGregor | August 24, 2010; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (2)

George Steinbrenner: The unfashionable leader

Steinbrenner's brand of leadership was hardly one to emulate. But somehow, despite all the ways he went wrong, it worked.

By Jena McGregor | July 13, 2010; 01:19 PM ET | Comments (3)

What BP's Tony Hayward can learn from World Cup coaches

I'm sorry to see the World Cup end. Not because I'm much of a soccer fan--like most Americans, I like my football with helmets, elaborate tailgates, and enough scoring to actually keep me interested. But as a student of leadership, this month-long global tournament has really been the gift that keeps on giving.

By Jena McGregor | July 12, 2010; 05:24 AM ET | Comments (5)

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