By: Tammy Allison
Pam Borton, whose roots are founded upon small town, Midwestern farm values has created a legacy for herself. Not only has she earned the title as the winningest coach in the University of Minnesota women’s basketball history, she has also established herself as an executive consultant, speaker, philanthropic, and advocate for growing and developing leaders. Her recently published book ON Point drives home the essence of leadership under stressful and pressure filled situations.
Her Midwestern roots are a far cry from the intense pressure filled world of college basketball. Pam credits growing up in the rural Fayette area surrounded by family as what shaped her character, work ethic, and who she is today. She stayed local after high school and attended Defiance College to play college basketball.
She shares, “I had such a great basketball experience at Defiance College – the game was my passion, and I wanted that orange ball to be part of my life in some way. I went to BGSU as a grad assistant and after that I knew I wanted to go on and coach Division 1 college basketball.”
After her experiences at Defiance College and Bowling Green State University, she realized it was time for her to spread her wings and broaden her horizons.
Pam spent twelve years at the University of Minnesota coaching college women’s basketball. Coaching at the college level is more than a career; it becomes life. While there, Pam lived and breathed coaching basketball.
She explains, “Coaching at this level is a life style, and it consumes your life. It becomes your life, and it takes you over. It is so intense, you’re always on, and it’s a year round commitment.”
Her time at the University of Minnesota was extremely memorable, successful, and life changing for her. During this time, she took her teams to a Final 4, three straight Sweet 16s, and numerous NCAA tournaments. Every semester, her team had a 3.0 GPA. She ended her career there with the honor of being the winningest coach in Minnesota women’s basketball history.
Coaching college basketball shaped Pam’s passion or leadership. She sought to share the lessons she learned from twelve years coaching on the court to help other leaders grow and spread their wings onto great adventures. Pam’s organization “Pam Borton Partners” provides executive coaching and leadership mentoring and speaking to take leaders to the next level. Some of her clients include healthcare organizations, financial companies, and universities. Pam has also dedicated herself to many ventures focused on giving back.
For instance, the Pam Borton Endowment was created in 2014 to honor her leadership and legacy for her contributions to the University of Minnesota both on and off the basketball court. It promotes leadership among girls and women in a sport context. It provides graduate fellowships within the Tucker Center to support leadership and research efforts such as hosting a national forum on women’s leadership development and supporting research that examines the role of sport on female leadership development. The Tucker Center is an interdisciplinary research center leading a pioneering effort to explore how sport and physical activity impact the lives of girls and women, their families, and communities.
Pam has also been actively involved with the Empower Leadership Academy for girls. Their mission is to inspire, develop, and empower the next generation of leadership.
Pam expresses, “There are not enough women in leadership positions at the executive level. Starting to develop leadership skills, confidence, resilience, and learning to take risks at a young age is the most important time for kids to develop. In doing this, the hope is to develop stronger leadership skills and self-confidence in women and girls.”
Pam’s most recent successful accomplishment as a leader is the publication of her book ON Point: A Coaches Game Plan to Leadership, Life, and Performing with Grace under Fire. Pam’s website, www.pambortonpartners.com illustrates the sport analogies the book uses to drive home its principles. For instance, readers will “master the front court” and learn to establish the fundamentals that set leaders on the path to winning.
Pam shares, “My book is a business leadership book – using sportisms relating them to business. This was a labor of love. I wrote the book because I felt like it was an obligation and a gift to give back to others. Leadership is not easy, it’s hard. This book serves as a guide and game plan to help men, women, boys, girls, young, old, and people near and far to lead where People Matter.”
The book provides a glimpse into Borton’s story behind the drive to win and succeed both on and off the basketball court and shares with readers a holistic view of principles to thrive as leaders. For more information on Pam Borton’s leadership endeavors or to order the book, please visit www.pambortonpartners.com