SBJ/October 8-14, 2012/Game Changers

Game Changers: Micky Lawler

Photo: OCTAGON
Lawler got her start in tennis by answering an International
Herald Tribune ad for a job in 1986.
Micky Lawler
Octagon
Managing Director, Tennis
Micky Lawler is Dutch; she grew up living in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Kenya; and she attended school in both France and Belgium. When she then moved to New York in search of work, she did so hoping for — surprise, surprise — a job as a translator for the United Nations. No such job, however, came available to her, so she returned to Europe and worked as an English teacher. In 1986, she answered an ad in the International Herald Tribune for a communications position at the predecessor group to the ATP. She got the spot, and ultimately she would travel 48 weeks out of the year for the job. Two years later, she landed at Octagon’s predecessor company, where she quickly moved up through the ranks as an agent. Today, she runs all of tennis for Octagon and serves on the WTA board of directors from her home in — Northern Virginia.
— Dan Kaplan
  • What is the best advice youve ever received?: The best advice I have ever received was from watching my father, who headed up the consumer electronics group at Philips. We lived in eight countries on three continents growing up. As a result of my father’s leadership, entire cities were lit, factories founded, manufacturing opportunities created and re-created. … He enjoyed successes by being open to change and was flexible enough to make course corrections. His biggest strength was his ability to empathize with people and truly understand the best interest of the greater good.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: My grandfather was a soccer player who worked for Philips as well. In his days, the best soccer players also had jobs, so my grandfather played for the Philips team and worked in the radio division. He used his name in soccer to recruit men to work in the underground resistance against invaders in World War II. My grandparents saved hundreds or more Jewish lives by sending secret convoys into the night to the homes of friends and family who would keep the persecuted safe at great risk to themselves. My grandparents acted on the belief that excellence in sports had to be used as a platform to make a real difference to humanity.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Micky is an incredibly smart woman who possesses the business instincts, acumen and vision to have been one of a handful of people to play a key role in the growth of our sport over the past 25 years. She consistently demonstrates integrity, honesty and loyalty in every aspect of her life that has propelled her to be a great leader beyond tennis and sport.”

  • Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman and CEO
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