With the baseball season now heading into the Playoffs, various leadership (style) lessons stand out:
- Trashing and calling out your star players in the media is a bad idea (talk about de-motivating, Bobby Valentine last year took what was a perennial playoff team, the Boston Redsox, down to the bottom of the league standings in 2012 with his constant haranguing of the players in public, creating a culture of fear and dissension): Lesson #1 – All you get when you have a climate of fear is attrition, superficial effort, and complacency (Respect and compassion, along with high standards and high support go a lot further)
- Speaking of the Redsox in 2012, ownership has a good share of the blame as they (read “board of directors” or investors), created the scenario by hiring the acidic-by-reputation Valentine to “straighten the team out and change the culture”: Lesson #2 – Changing a culture isn’t as easy as doing everything different from the way it was done before, as you literally “throw the baby out with the bath water” (Be selective and strategic about What you want to change, and conscientious about How you go about it, preserving the positive elements of the culture while changing the old, the resistant, or outdated)
- Finally, with the fired Terry Francona moving on to Cleveland, the Cleveland Indians made the playoffs for the first time in six years, leading as he did in Boston (for seven years and 2 championships) with humility, respect, and compassion: Lesson #3 Getting the best out of your people means giving them your best, and then getting out of the way (and out of the spotlight)
- Lesson #4: its not about the Leader (manager), its about the Team (employees): their motivation, their passion, their competency and support for one another in achieving the common goal.