Good Monday morning,
I am a playoff sports fan… well, a late playoff sports fan. If it’s baseball I like to watch the 7th inning on, and hockey, well, mid-May is a good time to start watching – towards the end of the playoffs. I, like many other Canadians, was excited about the success of the Toronto Blue Jays this past season; their run in the playoffs was a good distraction from the election process.
If you are a Toronto Blue Jays fan, you probably take some consolation the team that beat Toronto, The Kansas City Royals, went on to win baseball’s biggest prize. The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in 5 games. Neither team at that level was necessarily better, they had a similar level of talent on their team, but 1 team had the much more effective leader.
“I decided with my heart when I should have paid attention to my gut; I love my players” shared Terry Collins.
The Manager of the New York Mets, Terry Collins, made a really poor decision in Game 5 that led to a disastrous result. Mel Harvey, a dominant young pitcher for the Mets, had pitched 8 flawless innings & his team was ahead by two runs. Winning this game would position them nicely in the series. Mel came into the dugout & requested to pitch the final inning: “Please let me finish it off, I want this in the worst way.” After allowing a leadoff walk, followed by an RBI double, Harvey was pulled & the Mets went on to score 3 runs in the 9th & win the series.
Terry’s decision as the leader, to listen to his player rather than his gut, cost himself & his team dearly. That is the problem when you want to be “loved” more than respected. Leadership is all about respect first, the love/like will follow. While it is admirable that he did this for his pitcher, his fans, organization, and the rest of the players on the team will look back with a bitter taste of “what could have been.” Nobody remembers second.
Baseball teams & your organization have something in common. Both are led by Managers. One of the more important characteristics of leaders is the ability to make the right calls, even if it makes you unpopular with your team members. Think of the best manager you have worked for – I am certain that you respected & liked them. We live in a world that loves to “like” things. Facebook has built an entire brand on this concept.
Those tough decisions call for a “respect” button.
One step at time, along the road with you!
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