To have people with whom you can share thoughts an ideas with and receive constructive criticism when needed that is founded on knowledge and a proven practical success track record is invaluable.
The last decade or so in the context of sports governance, two international experts that I have shared ideas, views and opinions with, have been Dr Leigh Robinson and Michael Pedersen.
Dr Robinson was my thesis supervisor when I read for an Executive Masters Degree in Sports Organisation Management in 2006. My research project was focused on sports governance in T&T. Dr Robinson is one of my mentors and has been influential in my approach and thinking about sports governance.
Michael and I in recent years spent a lot of time whenever we met debating and questioning the sacred cows of global and Olympic sports governance. They were both immensely supportive in my decision to initially run for the presidency of the T&T Olympic (TTOC) committee in the face (at that point in time) of the non-support of TTOC executive committee colleagues and subsequently to seek re-election.
They challenged me and kept pushing me to step up to the plate and be a change agent and fearless advocate for good sports governance and the principles that frame good governance.
Anytime you are working to achieve something you are going against the current. Often the opinions of the people around you are trying to push and pull you away. They will say you can't do it, you are making a mistake, it's impossible, you will fail. The more out-of-the-box your thinking is, the stronger the push-back can be. Anytime you attempt to break out of the mould and box that people perceive you to be in their minds and eyes, they take it that you are messing with their worldview.
Remember you can always change something when you take ownership and responsibility for it.
Today's column is dedicated to my good friend Michael Pedersen, founder of M INC- Change the Game. Michael after years of trying to fit in a visit to T&T for carnival into his busy schedule was able to do so and was due to arrive in Trinidad on Sunday to witness carnival and be a key presenter at this year's Sports Industry TT conference on March 7. Ticket and Accommodation booked since October last year.
Danish-born Michael, an International expert on sports governance, intended to present on the business case for good sports governance. We were both excited and looking forward to his visit. Last week, I received the news that Michael a keen fitness enthusiast suffered a heart attack while out on his morning walk in the hills near his home in Malaga, Spain.
RIP Michael. My sincerest condolences to his family and parents Karen Marie and Jorgen Pedersen.
Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the organisation.