Diversity, Growth, Sport Business | Mar 29, 2021

“I’m a transformational leader, I like to see change.”

Michelle Carney, Chief Executive Officer of the Special Olympics sat down with Atlanta Hawks Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Proctor, for episode 3 of this year’s Chain Conversation Series, to discuss her personal leadership style and how she embraces change.

Michelle speaks openly about her non-traditional route into the sports industry and the usefulness of having a varied career background, particularly in the service industry. Her early career was spent developing sport for disabled people, and since she has worked at CEO/Director level leading a number of grassroots sports partnerships and organisations. Michelle has worked in the commercial sector, professional sport, international development and international sport for development.

In this conversation, she explains how working in diverse environments and understanding different cultures has helped shape her as a leader and suggests that the essence of leadership is “lighting a spark and watching people thrive.”

Also covered in this conversation:

  • What it means to be a transformational leader
  • The strength of female leadership
  • Building yourself and your organisation back up after setbacks
  • Embracing change



Chain Conversations is part of the Leaders Meet: Diversity Series, in partnership with Facebook.

The programme brings together leaders from a variety of backgrounds across professional sport to share their personal stories of leadership and to reflect on their own career journeys, pinpointing the peaks and troughs, the helps and hinderances along the way.

Every other week the previous interviewee will become the interviewer as we hear inspiring stories from aspiring and senior leaders within the professional sports industry.

The aim is to inspire, to energise, and to showcase why diverse thinking – and diverse opportunity – makes for better business across sport and beyond.


Supporting Partners of the Leaders Meet: Diversity Series:

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