3 Leadership Lessons From The Ball Park

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I just returned home from a fantastic baseball trip with my father and discovered that there are some great leadership lessons from the ball park.  We enjoyed watching the Cincinnati Reds beat up on the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Not only that, I caught my first foul ball. Well, it was a rebound off another fan, but it never touched the ground.  The ball is pictured as the featured image of this post.

During the trip, we enjoyed a great meeting with Dusty Baker, who provided some great leadership lessons.

Here are the 3 leadership lessons I observed:

1.  A Leader Knows Their People:  What do I mean by “know”? It means that the relationship goes beyond statistics into the realms of their personal lives.  I enjoyed observing Dusty and Matt Latos have a conversation about their families, just hours before the first pitch.  Dusty showed that he knows his players intimately and this emotional commitment pays dividends.

2. A Leader Prepares Effectively:  I enjoyed watching Dusty prepare a 5/7 card, which outlined the opposing teams strengths and weaknesses at the plate.  This type of preparedness allows the team to make decisions at critical times during the game.  This is one of the few things a leader can really control.  How would you rate your preparedness as a leader?

3. A Leader Is “Here Not There”:   We enjoyed spending some time in the Reds dugout during the trip.  In the picture below, I posed as the Reds manager taking my place in the dugout watching the field of play.  A great leader stays present in the moment, so he is better able to support points 1 and 2 above.   Your people, your team, your family and your customers deserve you “being here and not there”  That phrase is actually one of my norms in all the facilitated events I hold.   

Take a look at the three Leadership Lessons above and tell me which one of these lessons is the most challenging for you.  My guess is that you are exceptional at 2 of the 3.  To be an inspirational leader, you need to be excellent at all three.  Dusty Baker’s efforts are paying off this year as the Reds hold a 8.5 game lead over the Cardinals.