How could we have been so wrong? It seems Dan has succeeded in what matters most, "managing expectations." In an article in the Sports Business Journal, published about a year ago, Dan lays out his vision of leadership. In it he says (emphasis theirs):
Every AD at every level would indicate that the thing keeping them up at night is managing expectations.
So congratulations Director. You have succeeded where so many others have failed. UCLA fans thinking that winning a championship in men's athletics every now and then is too much to expect, that we are not capable of hiring a first rate basketball coach, or that 7-5 in football is good enough, is now the norm. We here at Bruins Nation have been blind to what the role of an Athletic Director is. We have been living under the illusion that the Athletic Director, rather than managing expectations, ought to be trying to build a successful athletic program. A successful program that also mirrors the core values of the university and strives for excellence.
Speaking of core values, Dan continues:
You have to make decisions and make certain they're consistent with your core values. Then you move on.
So what are Dan's core values? If you read further down you will see some of them, fadoras, trips to Italy, and Jazz. Can't blame the man for that. But in terms of running the athletic program, what values can we glean from his actions? Hmmm, a highly paid basketball coach that has done nothing and who supported a rapist, hiring people as quickly as possible without vetting them or even meeting with them, moving students to the end of the court so that the big donors can have better seats, allowing addidas to destroy our traditions and uniforms. To me that translates into: money, access, and work as little as possible. No where in his actions do I see a commitment to excellence, which I would consider a core value of my University. But I'll let all of you chime in here.
And Dan, how should we measure leadership?
The ultimate test of leadership is, if you had no title, would people still follow you?
Okay, raise your hands if you would follow Dan? Come on, get them up!
I am astonished that the Athletic Director at UCLA is allowed to have such low expectations for himself. I guess that is the culture that Chancellor Block has created and/or rewarded.
Dan has met all expectations: managing ours, making decisions consistent with his core values and then moving on, and probably most of all (some emphasis mine):
Establish a culture or create a culture depending on what you find, and motivate the employees. The best advice when you come into a new situation: Consume wildly.
Now how many of you would follow Director Dan? Consume wildly Bruins!