11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional

Braves center fielder Rick Ankiel points to the Atlanta dugout after hitting the game-winning home run in the 11th inning, defeating Freddy Sanchez (below, after being hit by pitch) and the Giants.

Do you feel average?  Is your organization just treading water?  On a personal level, do you feel like you are “stuck in the mud”?  We have all been there.

In the October 11th edition of The Sporting News, Stan McNeal takes a look at four MLB play-off teams who were not expected to be there – the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers.

As leaders looking to improve our performance, we can apply the following key learnings from these teams who went from average to exceptional this year.  Perhaps you can too. 

  1. Take Advantage of Opportunities.  The California Angels, who were expected to be in the play-offs, did not have as good a season as expected which opened the door for Texas.
  2. Acquisition of Young Talent.  The Reds signed 22-year-old Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman in addition to several years of quality drafts.
  3. Acquisition of Veteran Talent.  The Rangers acquired pitcher Cliff Lee and Vlad Guerrero.  The Reds added Scott Rolen and Orlando Cabrera.  Mid-season acquisition Rick Ankiel hit the game winning home run for Atlanta in Game 2 of their series with San Francisco.  For more on Cliff Lee, click here.
  4. Adversity Creates Cohesiveness.  The Rangers rallied around coach Ron Washington when he tested positive for cocaine.  Calamity will either unite your team or tear it apart.  
  5. Versatility.  Texas has a number of options offensively.  Do you have a broad base of skills personally or a team with many interchangeable parts?
  6. Resilience Proceeds Confidence.  All successful teams have the ability to overcome the challenges of a long season such as injuries.  This resilience gives teams the confidence needed to know they can still win even when the fall behind in games.   
  7. Effort.  The Reds’ veteran players are also the hardest workers on the team.  They lead by example.  What example does your veterans set?
  8. Consistent Execution.  Teams that go the next level trust their preparation and continue to consistently do the things that make them successful.
  9. Depth.  All great teams have depth with each person contributing.
  10. Every pitch matters.  Games are usually won or lost as a result of one or two plays.  Little things done consistently over time make a BIG difference. 
  11. Intangibles.  The Atlanta Braves desperately want to win another World Series championship for Bobby Cox.  To learn more about the leadership of Cox click here and here.  Is there anything at your church or organization that creates that extra bit of incentive for you to succeed?

I trust these eleven principles will give you the missing edge you have been looking for as a leader.  To help the readers of this site, tell us other things you have done that took your performance to another level.

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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.

10 Responses to “11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional”

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  6. Thanks for sharing this helpful info!

  7. Great post! I completely agree with #11. In fact, I wrote my own post about Bobby Cox’ leadership as well: http://wp.me/pFapf-4d

    Thanks for sharing!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional (via Brian Dodd On Leadership) « Mindset Of A Leader - 10/12/2010

    […] 11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional (via Brian Dodd On Leadership) This is a great post from Brian Dodd, who has a fantastic blog! Enjoy the read, but also grab something to apply to YOUR life! Do you feel average?  Is your organization just treading water?  On a personal level, do you feel like you are "stuck in the mud"?  We have all been there. In the October 11th edition of The Sporting News, Stan McNeal takes a look at four MLB play-off teams who were not expected to be there – the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers. As leaders looking to improve our performance, we can apply the following key … Read More […]

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