EXPERT LEADERS AMONG PROFESSIONALS,
IN SPORT AND THE ARTS
CEO is a command-and-control sort of
position. I do not really see myself as a CEO.
Rather, I like to think of myself as a managing
partner. The senior partners are the faculty,
and they are the lifeblood of an institution.1
IN MANY WALKS OF LIFE, over the last two decades, expectations about service quality have risen and greater choice has driven competition. The movement toward a more managerial culture has meant, not unnaturally, a greater focus on how to choose and train leaders, and this issue is faced by corporations, partnerships, and nonprofits. Should a U.S. federal bank select an economist as CEO or a manager? For a law firm that prides itself on offering clients the best service in Zurich, ought it bring in a managerial tier at the top or send those interested in moving from partner to senior partner on training courses? Should a National Health Service hospital in the United Kingdom be led by a health practitioner and researcher, or instead by someone who specializes in managing? Such questions confront boards in most organizations, but perhaps especially those with knowledge at their core.
This chapter touches upon the question of whether expert knowledge is relevant or beneficial to leaders outside universities—including professional service firms such as law, accounting and architecture practices, R&D units, and consulting firms. Here clients are buying individuals' expertise, but what about sports managers and coaches, and leaders in the art world? Quantitative research in this area is sparse. First, I will review a study on basketball coaches, and then, using interview material, I will discuss the relevance of expert leadership in professional service firms and arts organizations.
As everywhere, leaders matter in sports. Large sums are spent on recruiting managers and coaches, and sports coaches often command among the high-
1 Patrick Harker recently left his position as dean of Wharton School at the University
of Pennsylvania to become the twenty-sixth president of the University of Delaware. Harker
is the most highly cited dean in my dataset.