An entrepreneur, leader, and philanthropist, Ken Lear is the go-to expert for all things entrepreneurship and business.
Known as America’s favorite pastime, baseball has been ingrained into American history since its inception in 1908. As April beings, so does the MLB season and professional baseball. Leadership is deep-rooted into the basis of the game of baseball. By applying many aspects of baseball into professional ways, any leader can benefit. Baseball and business contain many similarities: creating a team with chemistry, the thirst to succeed, and even pleasing fans all are aspects that baseball and leaders focus on.
1. There’s No I in Team.
This is a classic saying that leaders use frequently. Recognizing that most leaders succeed through the help of their team is a great start to being a better leader. Developed leaders recognize the team behind them, and understand that they got this far with their help. A leader can’t do much without a team to lead. Being great at leadership means supporting and relying on a strong team. This goes for both baseball and business.
2. Expect the Unexpected
Figuring out what kind of pitch a pitcher is about to throw is key if you want to get a big hit. A pitcher could throw a change up or a curve ball, and if you’re not expecting it, it could mean an easy strike out. Great leaders adapt to their situations and are ready or anything. This means having a plan for worst-case scenarios. Focusing on being prepared and understanding how the business world works will give you a better chance of hitting one out of the park.
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3. Don’t Let Up on Working Hard
Many MLB teams will have great regular seasons to only falter in the playoffs. A leader makes sure that no one stays comfortable; by introducing new incentives and tactics, a leader especially in business, can keep their team hungry for more. Never let things start to get too easy. A team that is focused and works hard at all times will have a better chance of tasting success. Don’t be the team with potential for a championship, but not a championship-type work ethic.
4. Stick to What Works
Would you take out an ace pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter? A great leader never changes up things that are working well. Watch the success unfold and give your team responsibility to do the things they need to do. This also means staying away from micromanaging. A great baseball manager and leader has faith in their players that they can figure out what to do next. Any baseball player will tell you that this freedom allows them to develop as a better player.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
Never forget why you are working hard in the first place. A lot of people may get caught up in things that don’t matter toward their business’s success, such as only focusing on ways to make money. A great business leader always keeps their eyes on the prize, and doesn’t let rudimentary things get in the way. Focus hard on what you really want in this business; that is the key to being a great leader, and keeping your team’s faith in you.