Ross faculty help turn U-M basketball team into ‘Champions For Life’

August 29, 2016

Derrick Walton Jr. and Andrew Dakich may already be leaders on the court for the Michigan Wolverine basketball team, but when the team takes to the court this upcoming season, you might notice a renewed sense of teamwork and collaboration.

And for that you can thank, in part, the world-class training Ross professors recently provided to the team in a series of day-long leadership development workshops.

Wolverine Basketball players and coaches worked on team-building, developing team culture and embracing change during an event in August hosted by Ross Professors David Mayer and Kim Cameron – who are also faculty affiliates of Ross’s Sanger Leadership Center and part of the Center for Positive Organizations core faculty.

During the “Champions For Life” event, all 16 players, head coach John Beilein, and a roster of assistant coaches and staff members came together and participated in leadership building activities and workshops.

Loved the challenges from Kim Cameron & David Mayer of @MichiganRoss at our leadership meeting last night #GoBlue

Loved the challenges from Kim Cameron & David Mayer of @MichiganRoss at our leadership meeting last night #GoBlue

— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) August 13, 2016

“Over the past few weeks we did several activities with the team, such as helping players see what value they add and what the team needs from them to be successful,” Mayer said. “We also did an Everest simulation that highlights issues such as leadership, sharing information, differing goals, and dealing with conflict.”

Michigan Ross faculty are certainly no strangers to this type of intense leadership training course. The Sanger Leadership Center offers a variety of programs to Ross students throughout the year that focus on just that very thing, and this isn’t the first year they’ve offered it to Michigan Athletics.

Cameron has been working with the U-M Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams for the last two years on positive leadership and creating a team-centered culture – both teams went on to win their respective Big 10 championships this past year, and Mike Bottom, the coach of the U-M Men’s Swimming team, accompanied U.S. swimmers to the Olympics in Rio earlier this summer.

It’s also not the first time Ross professors have worked with the Michigan basketball team. Dean Scott DeRue started working with the basketball team several years ago, and this year asked Cameron and Mayer to take over.

“We were excited to take on the challenge,” Mayer said.

Learn more about the Sanger Leadership Center

This story was originally published in the Ross News Blog.