Friday, October 16, 2015

baseball and leadership

In my lifetime, my team has never been to the World Series...they have only won two post-season series...they seem to make a run in the early part of the season and then fade once the summer begins (or they make a run until the very end and then fail miserably)...they are often referred to as the lovable losers...they are the Chicago Cubs.  This past week was a milestone in my life as I watched my team WIN a post season series (only their second since 1908) AND for the first time ever they won it at home in Wrigley Field.  I was exhausted by the end of that series, and am now resting up for what I hope will be another series which they win (note: for me this is a grudge series since we lost out to the Mets during the last month of the 1969 season).  So what does this have to do with leadership?

  1. Napoleon once stated that "leaders are dealers in hope" - Cubs fans are the ultimate people of hope...for 56 years I have been saying (and believing) WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR!
  2. Winston Churchill's famous speech of "never give in, never, never, never, never" rings true with Cubs fans - until we are mathematically eliminated each season, there is always a chance...unlike some of my Cardinal friends who gave in before the final out was made Tuesday evening.
  3. Leaders build talent from within - the nucleus of this year's team came through the Cubs farm system (unlike other years when they tried to buy their way into contention),  Watching these young men play for THEIR team is a joy and pleasure!
  4. Leaders hire other great leaders - Theo Epstein (the Cubs GM) hired the best manager he could (and quickly replaced the former manager as soon as the current one became available)...always be looking for the best talent out there and be ready to bring them aboard when the time arises.
  5. Leaders know what their team needs - Joe Maddon took a group of young players and kept them loose all season...he knew what they needed to be their best from the beginning to the end.
  6. No one is irreplaceable - when Addison Russell strained his hamstring, Javier Baez came in and knocked a game winning home run (while he was not as good defensively, he used his strengths to assist the team)...leaders build a bench of people who can step in at any given time.
  7. Building a strong team takes time - the past 3-4 seasons have been hard, as the Cubs often fought for last place in the Central Division, believing (and HOPING) that the time would arrive when we would compete...and we did!
I'm sure there are many more analogies between baseball and leadership, but it is time for me to go and rest up for tomorrow evening's game - GO CUBS GO!


Billy Moyer said...

Great post, Don. Any time I can read about leadership and baseball in the same blog it is a good day. I look forward to seeing the Cubs continue their run. There is certainly hope!

Brian Becker said...

At last!!! I couldn't be happier for you and all my cub fan friends.