Another Look at Values

Friday, Jun. 14, 2013

One of the Core Values of the USSA is Team, and one if its organizational goals is "strong partnerships".  Both ideas are essential to the realization of the USSA's Vision of being Best in the World.

The scope of the USSA's responsibility is wide, covering the management and governance of 12 distinct Olympic sports. And it's mandate runs equally deep, ranging from international elite athlete programs to youth recruitment and competition at the most local level.

Despite the size and financial strength of the USSA, it cannot - and in reality should not attempt to provide for everything associated with the wide-ranging needs of our sports at all levels.

But the USSA can, and should lead.  And placing value on the concept of Team and the goal of strong partnerships provides a solid foundation for that leadership.

Two separate discussions today demonstrated the importance of these beliefs, and the necessity to lead by communicating and sharing our goals and Values.

The first was the "kickoff" meeting of the USSA's affiliation task force, which is tackling the steps necessary to re-create USSA's governance into a federated model.  At its core, this effort led by Darryl Landstrom and Bob Dart will result in better defined and stronger partnerships, and more effective teamwork between USSA and its local governing bodies.

The other discussion was with Women's Ski Jumping USA's new executive director Robbie Beck, who is working with that organization to provide financial and operational support to women ski jumpers, and to grow the sport of women's ski jumping.

Both the task force and Women's Ski Jumping USA represent affiliated bodies of the USSA.  While they may not be formally affiliated through governance or legal standing they certainly are affiliated, at some level at least, by mission.  We all want our sport to grow and our athletes to be successful.

And while steps are underway now to evolve the USSA into an organization that expressly supports - and indeed relies on - affiliates who share the USSA's Vision, Mission and Values, it's imperative that all like-minded organizations recognize that we have to be invested in each other's success.  As Robbie Beck and I discussed, "I'm invested in your success, because my own relies on it!" 

The effort to create stronger and better defined affiliations is not about stripping away resources or authority for the benefit of the USSA alone.  It's about defining what it is that we all rely on each other for, and who is accountable for what.  And it's about enhancing each other for the benefit of a shared Vision.

The collective success of the literally hundreds of "mission-affiliated" organizations that make up the USSA is paramount to Best in the World.

Luke Bodensteiner

EVP, Athletics

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