This is part 1 of a series featuring local leaders sharing their experience with sport, and how the skills learned through sport and active recreation impact their professional roles and life.
Mike Mikado, local business owner, board member
I have been involved in sports for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure that my parents kept me busy with sports to keep me out of their hair. I played hockey, baseball, golf, and badminton growing up and I was never the best player. Baseball and hockey were my consistent sports through school. In sports, just like in professional life, you do not have to be the best player to do well. If you can work well as a team, the many parts working as one can produce a strong productive outcome greater than the sum total of the individual efforts. That is one of the great benefits of team sports. This aspect is directly relatable to leadership, professional, and business life.
My dad was always involved in the sports I played, either as a coach or faithful spectator. Once my daughters grew up to the stage where they could play sports, I became engaged in their sporting activities, as my dad did with me. I was hoping they would play hockey, but figure skating was their preferred activity. That's what got me involved in the Lethbridge Skating Club and serving on the board. I was the only man, serving on a board with 13 other women helping to brokerage deals with a variety of figure skating moms with competing interests for budgetary allocation and ice time. If you think that sounds like an interesting experience and want to know what that's like, you should try running across an alligator pool with raw chicken hanging from your belt loops.
As I've grown older, I've needed the sports I engage in to keep consistent with my age; which is why I play hockey with the Lethbridge Oldtimer's Sports Association and golf at the Country Club. Remaining active in the later years has not only benefited my health, but I have been able to forge meaningful friendships too. In the same way, when I was young, I'm not the best player, but when we work together as a cohesive team, we can be productive, have a good time and give a good showing. I believe being involved in and participating in a sport provides one with the skills to work together as a team to accomplish a shared goal.
My service on the Lethbridge Skating Club board was not the only board I served on. I serve as the current president of the Lethbridge Oldtimer's Sports Association, served as a member on the board of the Lethbridge Country Club, and served as a member on the board of the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club. My wife thinks I serve on all these committees and boards because of FOMO (fear of missing out). I have found that serving on different boards has helped me learn to work with a lot of different personalities with common goals.
Serving on boards allows one to contribute to better the organization you are interested in and align the organization with its stated vision and make access to the organization equitable for everyone.
Playing sports and board involvement gives you great experience in working with a team and leadership roles. You don't have to be the best player to be successful. If you can work together as a team member; even as a leading team member to envision your teammates, you can help your organization or business be successful. It is worthwhile to enrol your children in sport. It is worthwhile to engage yourself in the boards that make the sports possible.
To see all the Sport For Leadership stories, please check out the e-magazine below. New stories will be added each week in March.