By the very definition of the position, sports managers are leaders. Specific sports management skills are required to do their jobs effectively. These leaders generally have a specific set of personality traits too. While there are some traits that can be nurtured and cultivated; many of them are innate.
If you are considering entering the sports management profession, take a moment and compare your sports management skills and personality traits to those of a successful sports manager to see how they match up.
Here are 10 personality traits of successful sports managers:
Communication is critically important for all leaders. For sports management professionals having both excellent written and honed verbal communication skills is one of the required sports management skills.
Sports management is a people business. Both of these are skills that can be improved with hard work and training. However, being able to effectively communicate your message in a sensitive manner comes more naturally to some people.
Having the ability to analyze a situation thoroughly and draw conclusions that you can use to communicate with your client is invaluable. Your analytical skills are one of the more technical skills in sports management.
Clients and business associates deserve to be treated fairly. A successful sports manager must make consistent decisions with strong data backing up her conclusions. When handling disputes, he or she must devise a resolution that is fair. The best way to prove your sports management skills are solid is to have done your homework and provide analytical numbers to support your recommendations.
A sports manager must have the courage of conviction when he or she needs to point out a wrong – whether it be shady business practices or a personal affront. At the same time, they must be willing to acknowledge their own errors.
The sports industry is competitive and that can attract the wrong professionals who lack sound ethics. Some think the industry is rife with a lack of sound judgment, and sports managers must possess a strong ethical commitment to their field to avoid any hint of scandal that could be detrimental to their careers.
4. Mastery and Passion
These two traits go hand and hand with one another. Sports managers are no different than athletes when it comes to mastering their sports management skills. Without passion, mastery is difficult to achieve.
Mastery involves demonstrating a personal commitment to the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Mastery is seldom achieved but the journey is rewarding. When the sports manager is passionate about the job they do, then each new task will be tackled with enthusiasm. Mastery makes the work enjoyable, rather than just an obligation, and passion fuels the drive to achieve mastery.
Being a sports manager is a time-consuming and demanding job. On occasion, it will require a manager to put their client’s wishes and needs ahead of their own self-interest.
Your clients depend on you to help them make a living. When a client or business associate asks the sports manager to perform a specific task, he or she will know if the request is being made for the greater good or out of selfishness. Selflessness comes naturally to people pleasers. If you enjoy helping others this sports management skill is a plus for your career success.
Sensitivity can be a natural gift. When working in the people business you must be able to read and understand emotions.
Having empathy for the athletes you work with is absolutely a crucial personality trait. The most successful sports managers will work hard to master this essential sports management skill. At the very least, one should know when to keep their mouth shut.
Things in the sports industry change at a rapid pace. Sports management professionals must react quickly and be able to assess emerging trends and determine their viability and applicability to the organization or individual players under their responsibility. You also need to be able to read the impact of these changing issues on the emotional well-being of the people involved so you can provide the best solutions.
At their core, sports are about teamwork at each level of the game. The primary goal of a sports manager is to assist their individual players in playing as a team.
While they must always bear in mind the best interests of their clients, athletes are best served if they are part of a highly functioning team. The importance of sports management in the success of the team should not be overlooked.
Sports managers are part of the team. They work closely with coaches, sponsors, and trainers to reach a common goal. All of these professionals have the same desire. They work hard for their clients and to use their sports management skills to coax out the best performances so the team will achieve greatness together.
8. Be a Decision Maker
Leaders must be able to make decisions. This applies to all industries, not just sports management. Particularly in high visibility positions, sports management professionals must be able to make sound decisions and stick to their guns. Decision-making is one of the top sports management skills to add to your list of mastery!
Each manager must be able to decide how lax or stern they want to be with their players. This is where the aforementioned sensitivity comes into play as well. Decision-making is not just a sports management skill it’s one of the primary functions of sports management leaders.
Planning in sports management is important with so many challenges coming at you every day. Don’t get caught in decision fatigue. You need to have a process to evaluate the situation and quickly communicate your decision. Regardless of how they reached them, a sports manager must also be able to explain their strategies and decisions.
Sports managers must build and cultivate a relationship of trust between themselves and their clients. This trust will benefit their client even more as you develop it with coaches, financial managers, and other individuals with whom they work closely.
They must never reveal confidential information. Confidentiality with high-profile clients is a necessary sports management skill, and they must always act in the best interests of their clients.
Last, but not least, successful sports managers must be humble. Humility is one of the most valuable sports management skills to master in your quest to be a sports management professional.
Without humility, you will struggle to get anywhere. No one wants to work with a jerk. Always remember to be respectful of others and don’t boast about your own abilities. Instead, let your results do the talking for you and prove your sports management skills in the work you do for your clients.
If you want to pursue a career in sports management, focus on courses that will allow you to improve your natural talents. You should also have a sports management degree. Enroll in a strong Sports Management Program to build new skills to enhance your abilities. This will put you on the path to success.
What to Read Next:
- Learn how a sport management degree is critical in Sports Management Degrees 101
- There are other sport management careers too The Agent vs The Sports Manager