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Logan's take on the State of the USOC

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  • Logan's take on the State of the USOC

    Interesting interview with him linked on home page

    Gist of the 'problem': [which I think he means to equate to the problems in T&F, not just the USA Olympic infrastructure]

    1. There is a failure, at least with contemporary leadership, to recognize that this is show business. .. . you have to devise a strategy to embrace the spotlight and to proslytize.

    2. The second thing is having a knowledge of what the sports world is all about. . . . It's a business with its own anomalies and its own culture that is not prone at a real high level to allow someone else, despite what the sparkling resume might say, to get involved in the fray until he or she earns their spurs.

    3. The third thing shines a light on glaring deficiencies we have of people we have are not conversant with and knowledgeable of doing business on an international basis. I'd want to have somebody who has some level of international credentials, who has that degree of sensitivity.

    4. The fourth thing is that I would look for someone who really, truly has an understanding that it is not an inwardly-focused business but an outwardly one. There's got to be a picture window on the world and the sport and whoever it is has to be facile and comfortable with playing that role.

    5. I'll throw a fifth thing in. It really helps to have someone who is really a sports fan, someone who really, really loves sports and is passionate about sports in an authentic way. . . . who is at their very root is a sports fan who understands not only the business of sports but the spirit-lifting element of competition at the highest level.

  • #2
    That article read like Logan was interviewing for one of the top jobs at USOC!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 7-sided
      That article read like Logan was interviewing for one of the top jobs at USOC!
      He does a good job of describing the Ideal CEO as someone . . . a lot like himself. He views on bilingualism are interesting, but what good does it do if you can speak Spanish, if you're talking with the Russians or Chinese? The Lingua Franca ain't Franca no more - it's English.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Marlow
        Originally posted by 7-sided
        That article read like Logan was interviewing for one of the top jobs at USOC!
        He does a good job of describing the Ideal CEO as someone . . . a lot like himself. He views on bilingualism are interesting, but what good does it do if you can speak Spanish, if you're talking with the Russians or Chinese?
        It demonstrates a genuine understanding of multiculturalism. Understanding languages and understanding culturals are intertwined. A Russian or Chinese official will, in my experience, be impressed to meet a multilingual American, even if that other language is Spanish. Anglophones in general and Americans in particular have a reputation as being English-only and lacking in understanding with respect to facts and issues that don't pertain to their homelands. Even though all those IOC members from Latin America surely speak English fluently, an American who can converse with them in Spanish won't be forgotten.

        A small scale example: I know only a few words of Arabic, but when I was waiting for a bus, an Algerian man standing near me sneezed, so I said "God Bless You" in Arabic. The look of appreciation and pleasant surprise on his face was priceless. Gestures like that go a long way, in my experience.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ned Ryerson
          Gestures like that go a long way, in my experience.
          But isn't that all it is, a gesture? What substantive difference does it make to a Russian that you can speak Spanish? I speak, read, and write German very well (or did at one point), and that did help me in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, but no where else. Nor do I think my net worth as a person is enhanced by that knowledge.

          Now, that said, I have always thought that Europeans were much more . . . s a v v y . . . than Americans, because of the necessity of multiculturalism there. To French people, Germans, Spaniards, Brits, Italians, Dutch, etc., are no 'different' than an Ohioan dealing with guys from Alabama, Maine and Oregon. I find that to be a huge advantage in many cases.

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          • #6
            It says, "I know that there are other countries besides my own, and I took the time to learn something about your language and culture." That's huge, in my opinion. The first time I met Khalid Khannouchi, I said, "Good afternoon" in Arabic, he stopped, looked at me and said, "Wow, you know Arabic?" to which I answered, "just a few words, here and there." He replied, "that's really cool. What's your name, again?" And he's never forgotten it since.

            Aside of the geographical distances between the areas, I think there is a very big difference between France is to Spain as Ohio is to Illinois. These are sovereign nations who have been waring with each other and the world for over 1000 years. I don't think the governor of one US state has ever invaded another state and annexed it as his own. And I think any non-American would be rankled by the comparison. Even Scots being compared to the English in the same way wouldn't appreciate it at all, I would think, and they have the same passports.

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            • #7
              One of the first things I do whenever I'm off to a foreign land is to learn how to say "hello," "please" and "thank you"; I can confirm that the amount of goodwill that buys you is generally stunning.

              (The very first thing I do, of course, is learn how to ask for a beer :-) )

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 7-sided
                That article read like Logan was interviewing for one of the top jobs at USOC!
                I thought he already had one!

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                • #9
                  That's funny. USATF has to learn "business", too!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by einnod23
                    That's funny. USATF has to learn "business", too!
                    I've been a Logan booster since the get-go. The initial criticism of him was that he TALKS a good game, but the Walk is not always forthcoming. I think he stumbled big-time with the 4x1 relays (the 'bad luck' they encountered notwithstanding), with neither a pro-active approach to their success nor a valid assessment of their failure.

                    I have great patience in my expectations, but NOW is the time for him to make his move and push the pace!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marlow
                      I have great patience in my expectations, but NOW is the time for him to make his move and push the pace!
                      It appears that the guys over at letsrun.com may be losing their patience. This is currently on their home page:

                      Doug Logan Talks About 2016 Decision We like Logan's honesty. He's a great find for USATF. The verdict is still out on his impact at USATF.
                      It doesn't reproduce here, but on their site, the second sentence after the blue heading is struck through!

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                      • #12
                        He does walk the walk domestically in that he travels over half the time - instead of staying in the office. I was particularly struck by his comment about the USOC folks staying put in Colorado Springs too much of the time. I've always had the feeling they are in their ivory towers up in Colorado Springs and often clueless about Olympic sports in the USA let alone the rest of the world.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marlow
                          But isn't that all it is, a gesture? What substantive difference does it make to a Russian that you can speak Spanish? I speak, read, and write German very well (or did at one point), and that did help me in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, but no where else. Nor do I think my net worth as a person is enhanced by that knowledge.
                          Actually, I have found the best use of my pretty bad German in none of the usual countries. In '81 at the ECup in Zagreb, we found no one who spoke English, but my faulty German got us fed, housed and friends. (Still couldn't get any of the roast lamb, damn. Even with a couple from Kaiserslautern trying to up they ante. "yes we can eat a whole lamb") . Later in that trip, in a campsite outside Firenze, the couple in the adjacent site were from Ecuador (or maybe Colombia, can't remember) and the common language turned out to be deutsch. Only time in my life I was told "langsam, bitte". Extra languages may not help, but they can't hurt.

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                          • #14
                            wow! I'll say one standup thing for the USATF people; they allow the great unwashed to weigh in and pound on Logan after his blogs.

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