Mark Munro - CEO of scottishathletics

Leading the way

Do you think you have the potential to run a sport? 

A programme for potential future leaders in sport to gain invaluable learning and development opportunities?

A programme that ensures they can increase their leadership capabilities and become role models for others working in their sport?

Seems like a great way to continue to develop Scotland's world class sporting system.

Future Leaders has been running for three years as a partnership between sportscotland and Plan4Sport and is doing exactly what it set out to achieve developing the future leaders of sport.

Mark Munro is one of the first ‘graduates’ from the programme and in October 2016 he was appointed CEO of scottishathletics, having taken interim charge four months earlier. He had previously held a number of positions in Scottish sport and most recently with scottishathletics before ascending to this important leadership role.

The Future Leaders programme and the opportunities it gave him encouraged him to push himself further along the road to becoming a leader in sport. We caught up with Mark to find out more about his journey.

Why did you decide to take part in the Future Leaders programme?

"First and foremost, it was the opportunity that the programme presented. Up until that point I’d never given much thought about my ongoing career development; for example, where I sat on the leadership continuum and how I may progress on that journey and develop my skills.

"It was certainly the catalyst for my development to date."

How much did the programme support you in your journey to becoming CEO of scottishathletics?

"We were the first cohort to experience the programme and there were areas that interested me and challenged me.

"I would say, though, that the opportunity to mix with the other future leaders from different sports was invaluable, and I remain close to a number of them now. Louise and Lucy (from Plan4Sport) were very helpful in facilitating my learning and self-reflection.

"It really helped me come to the realisation that I wanted to develop and become a leader in sport. 

"The programme gave me the confidence to seek further exposure to experiences above and beyond the sport of athletics - for example, contributing at Board level with other sports."

Mark Munro

Do you feel the programme helped you in making the decision to apply to become CEO?

"Absolutely. It gave me the opportunity to self-reflect and plan ahead in terms of my future career, as well as preparing for any opportunities that may arise. 

"It was perfect timing that this opportunity presented itself whilst I was completing the programme.

"Confidence is obviously key to pushing yourself forward and the programme certainly helped me believe that I could achieve this."

How important is developing people in sporting organisations to become the leaders of the future?

"In a word – critical. There is nothing more to say than that!"

What benefits do programmes like Future Leaders give to the workforce?

"Exposure to new people and experiences, skill development and confidence. Those were the key points I took away from the programme and ones that I will always be grateful for."

Find out more 

To keep track of Mark Munro's progress visit the scottishathletics website or follow Mark himself on Twitter.

Other graduates from the first cohort of Future Leaders will be profiled on Sport First in due course.

A review of leadership development is currently being conducted before future opportunities become available. If you want to know more about the Future Leaders programme, please contact Ewen Cameron, Partnership Manager at sportscotland on 0141 534 6500.

Pictures by scottishathletics / Bobby Gavin

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