Got a few minutes for an uber-interesting profile of SEC commissioner Mike Slive? Good. Then click right here. In a new profile by Forbes.com, Slive’s leadership strategies are put under the microscope. The result is a fascinating view of how the commissioner has helped steer the conference into its “Golden Age.”
First and foremost, an esprit de corps has been cultivated:
“By definition, a conference has two seemingly incompatible components that have to operate simultaneously, (1) passionate, competitive rivalries, and (2) a group of institutions that needs to come together as a single organization to strengthen each and every unit and the conference as a whole. We’ve had to try and balance that for almost 80 years, but only now is there an expectation that even in the pursuit of our individual goals, the conference needs to get stronger by moving forward together.”
We’ve stated on a number of occasions that the SEC and Big Ten have pulled away from all other conferences thanks in large part to their member institutions’ willingness to work with one another for the greater good. The polar opposite would be the Big XII, dominated fiscally and politically by Texas for so long.
The SEC and Big Ten — under Slive and Jim Delany — have both succeeded as a result of an “all for one, one for all” mentality. In the Southeastern Conference, Slive makes it clear that working together is not only a goal, but a necessity… as one school depends on another:
“When we meet with first-year coaches, I immediately tell them, ‘You’re all going to make a mistake, it’s almost guaranteed. If you make a mistake, just report it. We’ll deal with it. But if you intentionally break a rule, I hope you get fired. You’re a celebrity in your universe, and everything you do reflects not only on you, but your family, institution and us. And for that privilege you have to give us something back. You have to be held accountable.”
Again, this examination of Slive’s leadership strategies is well worth your time.