Posted in Leadership, Sport

When should you challenge for leadership?

Leadership is not about personality, it is about behaviour – Do you believe this? Well, whatever your position is let’s talk about this in the context of sport leadership and management in the Caribbean and specifically Jamaica.

Jamaica’s five major sporting disciplines are: 

  • Football 
  • Track and Field 
  • Cricket 
  • Netball 
  • Basketball

In the last ten years netball cricket has had at least three presidents/administrators; Basketball has had two, netball has had one, football has had two (a return of a previous president) and track and field has had two. 

A lot of the smaller sporting disciplines have changed up to three leaders within the same time frame. When one looks at the Jamaican sport landscape with the highly placed international positioning, there is always the question, how does Jamaica do it? 

The sport administrators are largely from the same circle of people except in a few cases and even if the leadership (President) changes, the rest of the executive is largely the same. The success however has been due to the consistent performance of the technical side with the combination of coaches and athletes who have committed themselves to a cause of which national pride is front and centre. 

Let me declare very early that I am not suggesting that our sport leaders have not served well. They have and is highlighted by their roles in international teams which suggests the experience, credibility and integrity of the Jamaican administrators. 


What bothers me is the election of officers when the terms end. Campaigning has become so negative that one has to wonder what is the real motivation behind becoming a leader. When does one challenge for leadership?

There are five practices to Exemplary Leadership according to – they are:

  • Model the Way 
  • Inspire a Shared vision 
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act 
  • Encourage the Heart Image

Those suggestions are clear on a process. I would summarise in saying they mean – get in the organisation, learn the process, go after leadership, get others to believe in your vision and then reward where necessary. 

How long then should this process be? Should there be term limits for Presidents? Or even the rest of the Executive? What is the best model for the Jamaican sporting landscape?

A few weeks ago, I wrote on knowledge sharing which I think is critical to the process of maintaining and improving excellence in the sporting industry in Jamaica, however I would want the ‘players’ to be conscious of what is required and work to get there. 

I am aware of the tendency to hold on for dear life, but a legacy is preserved if you trust others to share in your vision and trusting them to carry on the work. 

What say you?



A sport aficionado who writes, researches and presents on everything sport. A second book is out to prove her work's reach. She reads in her spare time.

2 thoughts on “When should you challenge for leadership?

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