Leadership in the Diamond
Baseball is probably my favorite sport. The start of baseball season signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring. #blessed
But I also love baseball because of all of the different ways you can teach leadership through the game. A few years ago, I led an entire student council officer training on lessons from the Kansas City Royals’ playoff runs and Dayton Moore’s More than a Season book. There are ample examples that I could give -- the 2014 miracle postseason run, the single at bats that changed the game, the “never give up” attitude.
As I look back at what we did during that workshop, this line sticks out the most: People are important. Process is important. Be a part of the team.
I absolutely love the movie, Fever Pitch. During the movie, Jimmy Fallon’s character, Ben, goes on about why the game of baseball is so special. He says, “You know what's really great about baseball? You can't fake it… You can either hit a curveball or you can't. That's the way it works… You can have a lucky day, sure, but you can't have a lucky career.”*
This is exactly like leadership -- you can’t fake it. People see right through fake. People also see through luck, because it eventually runs out.
It’s like this quote from Kyle Scheele: “Leadership cannot happen the way student council calendars happen where there is a big event every couple of months. If your heart beats every couple of months, you are dead. Those are just a small beat in a series of many. Leadership is constant bumbum, bumbum, bumbum. Leadership is the little acts that happen every day.”
Baseball during the postseason is the best. Players play with the title on the line every pitch, every game. They earned their spot because they were consistent through 180 games. They looked for, and took advantage of, every opportunity to succeed. They had a plan and they followed through.
Leadership, like baseball, is about being consistent for every game -- all 180 of them. It’s about looking for those moments to capitalize and build culture. It’s about being intentional.
You can’t fake leadership. Building leaders and building culture requires more.
*Fever Pitch, 2005. Fox.