Today, spring is in the air, and for fans throughout the country and world, hope springs eternal. I’ll be headed out to Citi Field in Flushing, Queens this afternoon to catch my 27th consecutive New York Mets home opener. In the meantime, here are 9 timeless leadership lessons from America’s pastime, or one for each inning. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you can benefit from applying the game’s most important lessons:
1) You can’t hit a home run unless you swing for the fences.
Leaders must think big, and act big. You can’t accomplish huge things unless you go for it. Of course, in baseball, with two strikes, you should choke up, and just try to make contact – and in business, there is a time to settle for less. But always start by thinking big.
2) The best players aren’t afraid to get their uniforms dirty.
Leaders must live by example, and that means demonstrating they can get “in the weeds” and handle basic, menial tasks when necessary. As CEO of a startup, I know that we’re too small to have too many defined roles at the organization. If I have to take the garbage out sometimes – that’s okay. Sometimes getting your uniform dirty inspires others to work that much harder.
3) Measure everything that matters.
Billy Beane ushered in a new era in baseball with the 2002 Oakland A’s. Made famous by the book and movie Moneyball, Beane demonstrated that by measuring statistics such as on-base percentage, he could field a competitive team for less money than the teams who relied on gut instincts alone. Great leaders use all of the data and analysis they can get their hands on to make smart, informed decisions.
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