Becoming a Pro Sports Executive – Work in Sports Podcast E009

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The Soft Skill You Need for Sports Jobs and an Interview with Amber Cox VP of the Connecticut Sun Hi I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the WorkinSports podcast. I had a mentor, he was my General Manager at Fox Sports Northwest, and he was giving me advice on hiring staff. He said there are 4 types of people you interview for any job. There are those with high will and high skill, they will represent 10% of the people you interview and they are your immediate hires. They have the skills, the will to succeed and the attitude you want. You will cheer when you meet them. There are people will low will and low skill – they will represent a different 10% of the people you interview. They are your immediate no’s. They don’t have what you need and there is little to no chance to get them there. The remaining two types make up 40% each. There are those with high skill and low will. And there are those with high will and low skill. The majority of the people you interview will fall into one of these categories. He left it to me to figure out what I would gravitate towards given the choice. So what about you – would you take the person with high skill level, but low will. Or the person with high will and low skill. The choice is easy if you ask me. There is a requirement for working in the sports industry that I think we underplay a great deal – enthusiasm. Now, you can’t put that on your resume and it won’t get you the interview, but once your skills get your foot in the door, that’s where your soft skills start to come through. So let’s role play – you get an interview because of the skills you have developed in your education – that’s what got you in the door. But when you sit across the table from the person who would be your boss, you have one word answers, you look uncomfortable, you stammer, you don’t make eye contact. Sorry – your skills stopped mattering, because this person just lost interest. Attitude and enthusiasm are the final barrier to entry into the sports world. It’s sports people! You need to be enthusiastic and excited – or as this weeks guest Amber Cox Vice President of the Connecticut Sun and the New England Black Wolves says – you have to have sparkle. This interview with Amber is awesome – she is a no BS sports executive, having been CMO of the MLS’s Houston Dynamo, Associate Commissioner of Women’s Basketball in the Big East Conference and President and COO of the Phoenix Mercury, but she is also extremely charismatic, excitable, enthusiastic and passionate. You can tell she loves what she does. She loves working with her teams both on the business side and the on court product. And that is what all of you should embody – you should love this, and you shouldn’t be afraid to let that come through. Remember you give off a vibe during an interview, make sure it’s the one you really want to represent you. Alright before we get into today’s interview – two pieces of news: 1: We want your reviews! Please if you like what’s going on here review us on iTunes or wherever you listen – it will really help the popularity of the podcast and in turn lead to bigger and better guests. 2: If you have questions you want me to answer on an upcoming podcast – email me bclapp@workinsports.com …or ping me on LinkedIn as this weeks questioner did: Wanted to send you a quick note saying that I love the Podcast! Side note: Your chances of having your question read greatly improve if you tell me how much you love the podcast first. No one is immune to flattery, definitely not me, I enjoyed all of the content you provided with Mark Crepeau and Colleen Scoles, as they gave me great insight on my passion of sports marketing, and what a sports organization looks for in a hiring candidates. I would love to hear your feedback on my current situation. Right now I am based out of Richmond, Virginia.

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