What you can learn about leadership from sports


This post is brought to you in partnership with Northeastern University–Charlotte. All opinions are our own.

Ken McNish is a biology teacher and athletic department communications assistant at Charlotte Country Day School with dreams of one day becoming an athletic director. He earned his undergraduate degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience at Kenyon College in Ohio, where he also ran track. 

Ken McNish is a biology teacher and athletic department communications assistant at Charlotte Country Day School. Photo courtesy of Northeastern University-Charlotte.

After teaching for 12 years, he decided to take the next step by pursuing a Master of Sports Leadership (MSL) from Northeastern University–Charlotte. The program, that took him 2.5 years to complete as a full-time working professional, has had a major impact on the many roles he plays at Country Day.

“Since completing my MSL, I am more mindful and aware of how others interact with me and each other,” says McNish. “Now, I definitely take a more informed approach on how to get the best out of students, team members and myself.”

What kind of job can you land with a Master’s in sports leadership?

Developed by the College of Professional Studies, in collaboration with Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, the Master of Sports Leadership prepares you for a career in the sports industry, whether it’s working with a professional or intercollegiate sports team, in marketing, communication or sports management, or even in a fitness or health club. The curriculum offers courses that examine the social and business issues that are critical to sports leadership.

“I consistently apply the strategies and lessons learned from the MSL program, says McNish. “The best thing I learned and can teach others is the importance of short-term and long-term reflection. It has become an integral part of the way I manage everything.”

Who’s a good candidate for the program?

McNish recommends the program to anyone trying to further their athletic career.

“I think developing your leadership style is extremely important in any field but with athletics always in the spotlight, the MSL program provides a great opportunity to learn about all aspects of management, be a better job candidate and make an impact.”

“Everything I know about leadership I learned from sports.”

Dr. Robert M. Prior, Northeastern University Faculty Lead for the MSL program, will be participating in Northeastern’s Local Leaders Global Impact “Sports & Leadership” themed breakfast event on Wednesday, September 26 from 7:30-9 a.m. Featured speaker Kendall Alley, regional president of Wells Fargo and wide receiver for Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team, will present the program “Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned From Sports.”

Kendall Alley. Photo courtesy of Northeastern University-Charlotte.

Attendance is free but seating is limited, so you must register in advance.

Want to learn more about Northeastern University–Charlotte’s MSL program? Click here for more information.


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