Lessons learned on the softball diamond

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August 6, 2015- ISSN# 1545-2646




Lessons learned on the softball diamond

Last week I had the pleasure of umpiring in a National Softball Tournament.  Teams and umpires from around the country all converged on the softball complex for a 5 day winner take all event.

First lesson – In recent years there has been some pushback on such activities where everyone does not go home a winner. Well in life – everyone does not win. I don’t remember a business that got the award for participation when their product under performed or the consumer disliked the product or service.

Second Lesson – Not everybody is first string material. This event was for the top athletes in their age division and were selected to be on these teams because of their demonstrated skills. Oddly enough even some athletes on these teams sat the bench because others on the team were performing at a high level.

Third Lesson – If you think you are good and don’t give 100% you will get your clock cleaned by the opponent. More than once during the tournament a team came in over confident and underperformed and the less talented team won the game. In business you don’t always have to have all the best staff but if the staff works together as a unit then they will win many efforts.

Fourth Lesson – Coaches, Players, Parents and umpires make mistakes which potentially impact the outcome of the game. As business leaders, we have all made a decision to take a particular direction only to find out there was an alternate way to get to a better outcome. The important piece is dealing with it and how you deal with it has an even greater impact on the next event. 

Fifth Lesson – Yelling at someone does not fix the end result which has already taken place. I witnessed mostly parents and a couple of coaches verbally chastising athletes (maybe their child or someone else’s) for a missed catch or some bad at bat. I won’t dispute that in some cases it was to get the athlete’s mind back in the game but in some cases it was just a level of badgering which unfortunately has tainted the world of sports for many of us.  As business leaders you must take the high road to engage your team.  Build on mistakes and acknowledge for results.


I could go on for many more takeaways from the field of play but wanted to get you thinking about your business.  How are you behaving in your business?  Are you the developer of talent or the person who tears down a person self esteem?  Do you acknowledge your mistakes and build upon them? Is your team not just thinking they are good but daily measuring their progress toward success? Do the people in your organization understand that in order for the business to sustain, grow and be a financial vehicle for them that it has to be top shelf and not just another “Me Too” business?

By the way, umpires are selected to these tournaments based on demonstrated performance.  They are evaluated in each game and critiqued in order to refine and improve their skills. They all equally compete to be awarded a ranking and officiate on championship Sunday for the best games of the event.  It is not about who you know – it is about what you can actual do on the field of play!

This week look at your business through the lens of the field of athletics and determine if your team has what it takes to be a champion.

Wondering what a champion team looks like? Give JKL Associates a call to discuss. (313) 527-7945

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2015

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