Guest post submitted by Jason Monaghan
Can baseball really offer that many lessons in leadership skills? Absolutely. Baseball encompasses a long, grueling season, where players and managers work tirelessly to earn a spot in the World Series.
If their strategy for a particular game doesn’t work, they change pitcher, catcher or batting lineup, coveting the chemistry that develops when they get the right personnel in the right position and order.
Likewise, when business leaders get the right personnel on their team, a synergy can occur that can drive amazing results. Organizational leaders, like leaders in baseball, can learn from wins and losses when changes are made to improve over time.
Don’t Hate the Player
There is always a lot of news on baseball players and what makes them succeed. Elite baseball players and elite businesspeople have much in common, including:
Top baseball players and leaders share common characteristics
Factors such as aggressiveness, potential, confidence, versatility and creativity all work together into a mix that offers more than just the sum of its parts.
The value of showing up
Derek Jeter is known for doing something that every organization could use: he shows up every day to play. That hard work has made him a success. When a team shows up and works hard, success is on the horizon.
Mark DeRosa and other players who have experienced major changes in their organizations know that when things aren’t working, the only option is change. Organizations and leaders must take the same tactic and remain prepared for those times when changes are the only answer. Personal training, whether it comes in the form of more time in the batting cages or starting a certificate in leadership is key to being that change agent. If sales are consistently falling and goals and objectives aren’t being met, you must be willing and able for the obvious answer.
Who’s the Best Manager?
Clearly, it takes more than just talent to make a great baseball team. Much of the work is left to the manager. The most effective managers leverage statistics and leadership skills to develop high-performing baseball and business teams.
More Than Just Stats
As any successful baseball or organizational leader can tell you, leadership is more than just statistics filed away at the end of a season or a fiscal quarter. Statistics offer a glimpse of the team’s performance, but not every success is measurable. Excellent leaders need to be on the lookout for successes that are quantifiable and qualitative.
Manager = Leader and Vice Versa
Managers in baseball are leaders and leaders in baseball are managers. It is that simple. Baseball managers not only have to make the strategic decisions that result in lineups and game plans, they also must engender the support of their players. The experience in business is no different. Business leaders must manage daily tasks while using their leadership skills to push their team into uncharted waters.
Baseball is known for long seasons and big ego players. The only way for managers to succeed is to create chemistry among the players. Organizational managers have the same task. Whether a team is rebuilding or building on past successes, having accessible veterans to new talent and creating opportunities for them to connect is the way to ensure continuity.
Sure, baseball offers many a fun summer afternoon but the take-home lessons are about more than the box scores. Business leaders who learn the best way to change their lineup, take care of their team and use powerful statistics to determine their strategy can make it to their own World Series.
What are your thoughts on baseball and leadership skills? Comment below or tweet us!