This is an article from yesterday’s New York Times.
Kudos to President Lalovic and FILA. This past week they evened the weight classes from 7-7-4 to 6-6-6 as part of their efforts to become IOC compliant and reiterated their support for women in leadership positions. That was a strong move on their part. If only FILA’s previous President would have been so attentive we wouldn’t be where we are right now.
What FILA needs to tackle immediately is the installment of a women into one of their four Vice President’s positions. They need to have a woman sworn-in BEFORE the September vote, even if it means creating a temporary fifth Vice President position. They can go back and even things out later. Does it really matter if they have 4 or 5 Vice Presidents when the future of the Olympics is on the line? Personally, I know I wouldn’t want to go into the September meeting without doing EVERYTHING possible to position the sport for reinstatement. Promises are never as powerful as deeds.
Pretend you are on the IOC Board Member for a moment. What would you feel more comfortable with relative to FILA; receiving cash for an item you sold them or a promise that they’ll mail you a check when they get home? Given our history with the IOC, I think we’d be wise to have a woman in place before the vote.
Which brings me to USAWrestling, where are the women in their executive corps? What are they waiting for, they’re being upstaged by FILA again. No wonder the world’s governing body doesn’t respect our leadership. Now they’ll say they do but I seem to recall that opposing football coaches say the same thing about the team they just upstaged too.
I realize the IOC isn’t looking to their NGB’s to see how they handle gender equity but this is a golden opportunity for USAWrestling to demonstrate proactivity and leadership. I guess the question is, “Why don’t they want a few women sitting at the executive table?” If they’re confused, they can ask their wives when they get home.
I look at leadership in two ways:
- The first plays things safe. They do little, risk little and as a result accomplish little. That’s not always bad if you’re still advancing your brand and producing a product that’s competitive in the marketplace. There’s something to be said for consistency.
- The other type of leader is always evaluating, adapting and managing by example. He or she embraces competition and the controversy that change inevitably causes.
The only problem here is it’s like being left or right handed; you are either one or the other. Being forced to change hands produces the same poor performance as being forced to change leadership models. That’s where we are at USAWrestling and why applying pressure for change won’t work.