Leading in the Unknown: A New Paradigm for Leaders in Intercollegiate Athletics


Leading in the Unknown: A New Paradigm for Leaders in Intercollegiate Athletics presents a new vision of leadership for practitioners, scholars, and leaders within higher education. This book is situated within the unprecedented confluence of the global Covid-19 pandemic, societal injustice, and severe economic depression for which intercollegiate athletics was not immune. Dr. Brandon E. Martin is uniquely positioned within the landscape of intercollegiate athletics as a former Division I Athlete, Vice Chancellor/Athletics Director at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Respected Scholar, and Co-Chair of the Black Athletic Director Alliance. This work represents the unique collection of experiences that inform Dr. Martin’s approach to leadership that acknowledges current cultural realities and the necessity to reimagine how to engage with athletic programs, institutions, and student-athletes.

Traditional leadership strategies and maxims are infused with culturally relevant principles that address current and future challenges facing the world of intercollegiate athletics. In this book, Dr. Martin invites current leadership voices in intercollegiate athletics to illustrate principles of leadership. The following leadership principles are discussed across the first six chapters: 1) multidimensional contexts; 2) cultural agility; 3) catalytic leadership; 4) dynamic flexibility; 5) mindful leadership; and 6) cultural safety. Each of these chapters end with practical takeaways that provide an initial “game plan” for leaders seeking immediate guidance on how to approach challenges in their respective institutions. In a final chapter, additional intercollegiate athletics leaders are featured to continue the conversation with leaders facing crises on multiple fronts. This book is designed to give current and future leaders new language, practices, and approaches to leadership that can elevate equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice efforts across all levels of intercollegiate athletics.