Women in Sports and Events
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Up Close with Kim Stone: Taking the Lead

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2018 WISE Women of the Year honoree Kim Stone manages daily operations of AmericanAirlines Arena and oversees business intelligence, data analytics, digital strategy, and service and retention of the Miami HEAT’s season ticket holders. Here, the executive vice president and general manager talks leadership and inspiration in South Florida.

What career goal are you currently working on?

I am a student of leadership. I am working toward developing my own leadership style, so I love to read books and learn about it. The broader goal is to develop and coach my staff to be the best leaders they can be.

Where do you draw inspiration from to keep your ideas and contributions fresh and relevant?

First, it is a byproduct of living in Miami, which is culturally diverse and an always-changing environment. Then, I am active and participate in trade and industry associations and attend conferences; they give me an opportunity to work with people who are not from Miami or basketball. I am able to stay on top of broader moments. Thirdly, I stay connected by talking with all levels of staff. I do no limit my conversations to direct reports and make it a point to connect with everyone from event staff to entry-level associates.  

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

That no matter how hard you work, sometimes you can still fail. And it’s OK to fail as long as you turn it into a life lesson.

Thinking back over your career, how has your leadership and management style evolved? What are some of the lessons learned?

My leadership has evolved from being a one-size-fits-all approach to multidimensional. It is more situational leadership, meaning that if a situation calls for a specific leadership style, knowing what types of leadership to use and being flexible and nimble enough to move between.

I have learned to treat people — staff and partners — with trust, respect, honesty and transparency. Also to judge people by their actions, not their words. I learned that lesson over time since the real value is what they do and not what they tell you they will do.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A park ranger.

Fill in the blank …

I wish I had known … I would live and build my career in Miami, so I would have taken Spanish instead of French in high school.

I can’t live without … my family.

On the weekend, you can find me … enjoying the Wynwood Walls.

 

Stone will receive her WISE Women of the Year Award at the 24th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on June 13 in New York City.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.