Emily Jaenson: Reno Aces General Manager - Work in Sports Podcast

Listen in to the podcast interview with Emily Jaenson, Reno Aces General Manager to learn more about MiLB, leadership, gender equality and much more!

Hey, it’s Brian, coming up today on the show Emily Jaenson General Manager of the Reno Aces Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks but before all that greatness -- let’s talk about the University of Dubuque and their Masters in Sports Management program.

I was just at the NASSM conference and got to met one of the sports management professors at the University of Dubuque, Kevin Cattani, very impressive dude.

Ok, back to the program details --

30 credit hour program, that can be completed in one year - they have face-to-face and online options, love that flexibility, and they focus in on, amongst other things, leadership training. This stood out to me their emphasis on leadership because as you know I have a thing for leadership. But seriously, this is how you reach high in your career -- everyone you compete with for jobs will have skills, but not many are leaders.

People with only skills may reach Director level roles in their career - those with skills and leadership become SVP’s and CEO’s.

The other great part about the University of Dubuque program - lots of opportunities to gain experience   - integrated field experience and professional development opportunities.

This education can change your career ceiling -- check out dbq.edu/MMSM for more information

Now let’s start the countdown…

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the WorkinSports podcast.

Finding the best guests is often about reading and staying up on what’s happening. I scour trade magazines looking for people who are quoted in articles. I look at conferences and search through their speaker lists. I read feature articles to see who is out there changing the industry.emily jaenson gm of the reno aces

I approach it this way for a few reasons -- if they are speaking at a conference that means they have a point of view and are comfortable sharing it. That’s important on a podcast.

If they are quoted in articles, again, they are a respected thought leader with a point of view.

And if they are featured in articles, well, that speaks for itself… they are interesting and they have a story to share.

This week’s guest hits on all three. Emily Jaenson is everywhere and it’s well-deserved. As the highest ranking female in Minor League baseball, she’s garnered much national attention...but you know what I learned, she’s way more than just a novelty title.

As the GM of the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, she’s a smart, creative leader who is motivated to make positive changes in her organization.

But you know one trait that really stood out to me during this interview we conducted last year. She’s a listener. And that is the first sign of a leader.

She ascended to the GM role in May 2018 - mid-season - and instead of saying “we’re going to change how we operate and do things in my vision!” She spent the first season going forward with the previously established plans, listening and learning from her staff.

That takes self-confidence. Most new managers in any role, think they HAVE to change things or else they aren’t bringing value. This is misguided. Change for change’s sake isn’t inspiring to a team. Coming in guns blazing trying to shake up the apple cart isn’t leadership, it’s chaos.

The best leaders enter with calm confidence, listen, ask questions, learn, observe...and then, make changes when they are sure those changes fit this organization. Not all ideas work in all markets, you can bring cookie cutter ideas into a new location.

I personally learned this the hard way. When I was at CNN we had top of the line equipment, we established industry best practices, we ran like a machine (most of the time). When I eventually left CNN and headed to Fox Sports, i had notebooks and notebooks of notes and ideas I wanted to implement immediately.

Do you know what that did? It immediately sent the message to my new team, they’d been doing everything wrong and I was some kind of savior to teach them the right way. What a terrible message to give!

Plus, the market was different, the people were different the technology was different the staffing was different. I needed to shut up, observe, ask questions and learn before I spoke. Too late now, but I should have!

Emily Jaenson did all of that the right way, and now she’s operating the Reno Aces in her image.  

Here’ more with the GM of the Reno Aces -- Emily Jaenson...

Listen in to the podcast interview with Emily Jaenson, Reno Aces General Manager 

By Brian Clapp | June 05, 2019
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