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Compartmentalization Doesn’t Work

I’ve never been a fan of compartmentalization, especially within the sports industry. Too many executives try to treat information as if they are working for the C.I.A. and end up costing themselves on sports marketing opportunities because they do not trust or rely on their support staff enough to carry out the details. Compartmentalization is a costly component of a leadership run on fear, with few reasons as to why. If you truly trust your staff, and want them to grow and support your leadership choices, you cannot compartmentalize information simply for the sake of doing so.

Leaders who compartmentalize tend to frustrate their staff rather than impress them. Yes, there is a difference between a crucial human resources or student-athlete issue in which a few people know the details, compared to that of a potential sports marketing scheduling effort with an opposing team or a theme night that may be deemed controversial.

With the latter of the two, it is imperative that the leadership of executives understand that input should, and needs to come, from outside of the top administrators. Sometimes, those with the lowest job titles tend to yield the best results when it comes to offering up counterpoints as to what sports marketing efforts will or will not work.

Compartmentalization defeats that. There are way too many instances of executives not trusting their staff because job titles act as a barrier to sports marketing development, rather than a cohesive effort where everyone is expected to be a part of the initiative. That doesn’t mean that a leader cannot dictate “radio silence” when it comes to staff broadcasting what goes on within a sports marketing meeting.

There are several potentially upsetting changes to logos, merchandise or team policies which are not ready for public consumption. But trusting on your employees helps ensure that the last thing that they will want to do is break that trust. Compartmentalize does the opposite, and when franchise employees do discover the details, they become offended, because they weren’t trusted with the information to keep silent.

A good sports marketer or executive doesn’t require compartmentalizing information in order to be successful. Instead, the executive focuses on building and fostering that trust, to where the last thing that an employee would do is want to break it.

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