Week 36: Diana Drury



Please tell us a little bit about yourself. 


I grew up in Peterborough, Ontario and I am currently the Director of Team and Executive MBA/Master Coaching Programs as well as a Team Performance Coach at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I also coach and lecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in their Executive MBA and Weill programs.


I have over 35 plus years’ experience working with high performance teams as both a coach and athlete. I have coached a variety of sports teams at the college, university, provincial and national levels and am fortunate to have been the recipient of numerous

coaching awards. I have also competed as an athlete at the provincial, national and international levels in lacrosse (box and field), ice hockey and softball. Included in my playing and coaching experience is a combined twenty-five year tenure as a player, captain and coach of the Queen’s Women’s Ice Hockey Team. My dedication to excellence in sport has been recognized through numerous other awards and honors, including: an athletic bursary in my name at St Lawrence College, induction into the St. Lawrence College Sport Wall of Fame, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame, the Queen’s Golden Gaels Coaches Wall of Fame, my High School Hall of Fame, a Coaching Excellence Award from the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association, and special twenty year recognition from the Government of Ontario for my commitment to sport. I was inducted into my hometown’s Peterborough & District Sports Hall of Fame as an Athlete in June of 2008. On April 29th, 2011, I was inducted into the Kingston & District Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder. On June 7th, 2016, in Toronto, I was inducted into my 7th Hall of Fame entering the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame as a Builder and one of the first females to enter the Hall.


I am very fortunate to continue to be active and competitive representing Canada in the elite division in the sport of softball at the World Masters Games in Australia in 2009, Italy in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017 with the Canadian Free Spirits Team where we have captured three consecutive gold medals for Canada.


I worked at St. Lawrence College in Kingston for 26 years as the Athletic Director, a professor and then became the Student Life Counsellor before resigning in 2011. I am a graduate from Queen’s University holding two degrees. On January 11th, 2012, the College student body named the newly renovated “Diana Drury Student Study Centre” in my honor – what a humbling event that was!


How has sport helped you develop skills for your work today?


Sport has been a huge part of my life since I was three years old when I started bowling. Sport, especially team sports has taught me the skills that I rely on every day at work. How to deal with and overcome adversity, ambiguity, resiliency and how to push through when life throws you those curve balls. Other skills include hard work, commitment, and dedication to the task at hand, time management and how to efficiently multi-task, which is so important in the workplace today. Being part of a team/team player has prepared me for my work today with my coaching team and our MBA teams. This truly mimics the real world today where most people are working in teams. Lastly, working smarter versus harder/longer especially as you get older is a key skill that I have developed which has allowed me to continue to compete at the World level in sport – what could be better than that!


Who is a leader you admire and why?


Too many to name but surprisingly the leaders who I admired most were my coaches/mentors in my high school years (basketball, track and field, softball) who cared enough to come in early, stay late after school to train, teach and work with me. They saw something in me, took me under their wing and challenged me to do the things that I never thought were possible.


What is one piece of advice would you have for young female athletes today?


“Never say never!” Hard work, perseverance, never giving up or letting go of that dream. A little bit of luck always helps and being in the right place at the right time – you never know! The skies the limit.