The Best Leadership Lessons From June Baseball

ESPN‘s Buster Olney is one of my favorite writers.  If you look in my tool bar, I have even dedicated a page to my favorite leadership principles found in his columns. 

As I reviewed his posts from the past month, the following are some key learnings I feel we can take away and use in our organizations.

  1. Count What Counts – As a result of Ken Griffey Jr’s retirement, Olney made some compelling statistical arguments about Barry Bonds being the best player of this generation over Griffey.  Many times leaders evaluate personal or team performance using a criteria that is completely subjective.  The criteria for evaluation should begin with does an individual produce and add to the bottom line or not. 
  2. You Never Have To Recover From A Good Start – As of June 22nd, hitters facing rookie phenom Steven Strasburg were 0-20 with 16 strikeouts when starting a count 0-2.  They were also 4-36 with 22 strikeouts when starting 0-1.  These are stunning statistics to us as leaders.  We have to ensure that our teams and initiatives do everything possible to have a positive launch.
  3. Always Put Relationships Over Rights – The June 25th story of the beloved Yogi Berra not stepping foot into Yankee Stadium for 14 years because of how George Steinbrenner dismissed him hits home for many of  us.  How many relationships do we have that have been severed for an extended period of time because we were mistreated?  Whatever happens in our lives, except for extreme situations we should never put our individual rights and wounded spirits over the long-term relationships.      
  4. The Leader Is Often The One Who Steps Up And Goes First – The Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria addressed an issue with fellow teammate BJ Upton last week.  The volatile footage of that exchange is shown below.  The leadership principle for us is that many times the leader is revealed during times of calamity.  When great calamity hits your organization, it may prove to be the opportunity for your leadership skills to come to the surface. 
  5. Consequences MatterWe can choose our sin.  However, we do not get the luxury of choosing our consequences.  If you don’t believe this, ask Tiger Woods.  Upton will have to perform at a high level for an extended period of time to overcome the stigma of his lackadaisical effort.  He’s an incredibly young and talented individual.  Let’s hope he does.

Sports is measurable.  That is why leaders love it so much.  It reminds us of the environments we are in everyday.  Let’s take these 5 principles, incorporate them into our leadership, and watch our teams improve performance and exceed capacity


About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

4 Responses to “The Best Leadership Lessons From June Baseball”

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