Navigating the Team: Case Scenarios of Leadership Coaching Styles in the America’s Cup

By Mark Clark and Elizabeth Hall.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Coaching a high-performing professional team involves challenges that may be met through a variety of leadership approaches. Because each team has idiosyncratic resources and goals, the style most effective for one team may not be appropriate for another. Further, those who aspire to team leadership have varying capabilities. This inquiry uses case scenarios based on personal interviews to depict the challenges of three leaders of America’s Cup sailing teams, illustrating the confluence of personal style, team structure, and idiosyncratic team goals. The leaders of each team, Dawn Riley of Areva, Chris Dickson of BMW Oracle, and Grant Simmer of Alinghi, choose strategies to meet their team challenges with varying success, from autocratic direction to empowering members as a collection of equals.

Keywords: Team and Group, Leadership, Coach, Sailing, Decision-Making, Sports Teams

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.111-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.019MB).

Dr. Mark Clark

Associate Professor, Kogod School of Business, American University, Washington, DC, USA

Mark Clark is an Associate Professor and Endowed Research Scholar with the Kogod School of Business, American University in Washington DC. His research on team performance contexts, culture, diversity, and strategic human capital has appeared in Group Dynamics, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, among other outlets, and has been presented at international conferences to both academic audiences and business executives. Dr. Clark’s background includes experience as a treatment specialist, trainer, program administrator, and consultant. He earned his Ph.D. from Arizona State University.

Elizabeth Hall

American University, Washington, DC, USA

Elizabeth Hall is an accomplished sailor with several national and international titles, including the 2007 and 2009 ISAF Team Race Worlds. She is currently working as an independent marketing contractor in Annapolis, MD for Quantum Sails. Ms.Hall has worked in marketing for Halls Spars & Rigging and recently earned an MBA at Kogod School of Business at American University.