Values in Action: Questions about the e-book

Published June 11, 2013

Dina answers questions about the e-book:

How can this e-book make me a better sport leader?
"This e-book was written with sport leaders in mind. Based on the insights of 12 Canadian sport leaders and their experience in having lead nine of Canada’s premier National Sport Organizations, I have come to understand that our sector attracts people who are passionate about the product (sport); committed to its people (athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials, administrators); and exceptionally resourceful. One of the key ingredients in honing one’s leadership skills is self-awareness … what makes you tick as a human being. This e-book will help you become aware of your personal values - and what drives you is the first step in increasing awareness of self. Once a leader knows what drives them and what they are prepared to go to the wall for, it becomes ever so much easier to inspire others to do the same."

What are an organization's values?
"Values in organizations are statements of belief that are agreed to by members of an organization. While the academic world has various definitions that you can read more about in my e-book, I like to simply state that values are an expression of what matters most to you as an organization. The key is to determine who the values are meant to represent and how intentional you want to be in involving these people in the dialogue to identify and define the values. One of my favorite sayings is to know your values the way you might know your phone number. That way, they can serve the purpose they were designed for … to positively impact decisions and to guide behaviours."

How will the book improve my organization?
"I believe that once sport leaders read the e-book, they will be inspired to make explicit what is almost certainly an intuitive form of managing by values. The 4-I Values Continuum that I write about in my e-book suggests that organizations can move from not having a core set of values to guide their decisions to showcasing them for the world to see. My book provides people with facts they can use to rationalize why investing in the culture of their organization makes good business sense and hopefully ignites their desire to manage by values. Management science is calling on leaders to adopt a move values-driven approach and I believe the time is right for us to do so more intentionally in sport. The bottom line for me is simple … in sport, we have focused our attention on owning the podium … ensuring that athletes and coaches have the support they need to perform at the highest level. My e-book makes the same case for the management of sport … that sporting excellence does not end on the field of play but extends to the administrative offices and boardroom of Canadian sport organizations. Values fuel our athletes’ performance and so to should they fuel the organizations that underpin the sport sector."

Why did you write an e-book?
"I wrote this e-book because I’m a big believer in walking the talk. I’m a journalist by trade so putting pen to paper is a natural forum for me to express myself. There’s simply not enough time or air miles for me to work with the 34,000 sport organizations across this country so writing this e-book is a way for me to share what I know and to provide people with a process that they can use to identify, define and live their values. In so doing, I hope that the entire sport sector will benefit. Writing the e-book was also a way for me to actively demonstrate the pride I have in working in sport and to shine a spotlight on the amazing leaders and success stories that exist."

Do I need to know anything about values before reading the e-book?
"Not at all. But you do need to be open to new possibilities and be willing to examine your own routines or biases as they relate to management, governance, and measurement. Then, you’ll need to think long and hard about your own leadership style and what management approach best suits you. The e-book will help guide you through this process and teach you how to use your values as you lead and manage."

After I read the e-book, what happens next?
"My vision for this e-book is that every Board member and senior staff person in every sport organization gets a copy of it. Hopefully individuals and organizations be inspired to adopt some of the practices in the e-book – and if you haven’t yet defined a core set of values, you’ll want to do so. Chapter 3 provides readers with a step by step process that I invite them to customize to map out the core values that they believe can enhance their culture and the sport experience. I believe that becoming more intentional about managing by values can be our ‘tipping point’!"

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