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Baylor Bears Learned Lessons in Leadership from Their Time as Mascot

Jan. 24, 2017

By Dresden Hale

Three Mascots

Three generations of Baylor mascots met in Professor Rachel Woods’ Leadership and Organizational class to share what they learned while being a mascot.

Professor Woods brought in father-daughter duo Andy and Deanna Spencer to speak about what being the Baylor mascot taught them about being a leader. Both of the Spencers, along with Woods, were the mascot during their time at Baylor.

Andy Spencer graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Baylor in 1987, and during his time at Baylor, served as the Baylor mascot.

Spencer said that upon coming to college, he decided he wanted to be a leader. Spencer found this leadership through the role of the school mascot. He wrote a book about his time as a mascot, Leadership from the Sidelines: Much of What I Learned About Leadership I Learned As A Mascot, where he speaks about lessons he learned in leadership.

Spencer found many parallels between leadership as a mascot and leadership in the business world. Some of these characteristics were the ability to listen, believe in others, to be intentional, and courage. These lessons he learned on the field proved invaluable in the business world.

Leadership from Sidelines

“A mascot has to have courage,” said Spencer.

His oldest daughter, Deanna, has followed right in his footsteps. Deanna, a junior, is currently serving as a Baylor mascot and enjoying it.

Professor Woods and Spencer both do leadership development work and are looking for ways that they can use their knowledge and collaborate to help leaders.

Woods found being mascot as an important student leadership role in which you must care about more than yourself – you must care about the image of the university.

“It calls for integrity, because your actions matter on and off of the field. The job calls for both a sense of humor and a lot of perseverance, because it is such an uncomfortable job. The privilege of serving in this role is well worth it,” said Woods.

When asked the most popular question they get about being a mascot, they said it was the question of “does it get hot in the suit?”

“We’ve proven it to get about 40 degrees hotter in the suit,” said Deanna.

Now that is dedication.

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