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Leadership and the Power of Sports

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President-elect Barack Obama is an avid athlete who plays basketball as often as he can including on the day of his historic election.

The November 16, 2008 edition of the Sunday New York Times Christopher Clarey takes readers on a world tour of the athletic accomplishments of a number of world leaders including President-elect Barack Obama who was the member of his Hawaiian high school state champion team. Obama’s Not Alone in His Athletic Pursuits. Check out the accompanying slide show.

Athletic World Leaders - NY Times

If there is any question about how serious President-elect Obama is about sports and especially college football, it’s addressed in the following clip from the 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday, November 16, 2008. This was the last question asked by Steve Kroft and the intensity with which was answered was remarkable.

Another very interesting article about how a world leader can position sports as an important national initiative appeared in the October 27, 2008 edition of the NY Times special Play Magazine. ANDREW MEIER wrote Score Another One for Putin which chronicled the sports renaissance that has been taking place in Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. The article follows former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr who was the NY Rangers captain until jumping across the ocean a few months ago to play for Avangard Omsk.

Photo credits:

Top: From left: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, left, in 2005 by Sergei Zhukov for Agence France-Presse – Getty Images; Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1959 from Associated Press; and Bolivia’s President Evo Morales in 2008 by Oswaldo Rivas for Reuters

President-elect Obama playing basketball by Doug Mills for The New York Times

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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Posted in Culture + Sports, Politics + Government.

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