RED SOX RANT: After the Boston Red Sox played a mere 24 games, reporters say they’re in a slump. They blame it on Big Papi’s retirement.
One person does not make a team succeed!
Yes, Boston misses David Ortiz. (So do the fans.) However, the team will bond, work out the mechanics, get to understand each other’s strengths and recognize who needs to have someone step in where they are weak – without Big Papi.
Why? Because the Red Sox has a team that consists of many natural leaders such as Sandy Leon, Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia. John Farrell is mentally tough. His battle with lymphoma proves it. And now that Jason Varitek has taken a role that gets him out of the front office and closer to the players, there is no shortage of strong leadership on the team.
Losing great leaders and players isn’t something new to the Red Sox. Ted Williams retired in 1960 and Carl Yastrzemski in 1983, In 2012, the Boston Red Sox lost perhaps one of their best leaders from modern times. Jason Varitek, a player who wore his heart on his sleeve, lead his team to the first World Series win in 86 years. Despite his loss on the field, and in the clubhouse, the Red Sox rallied again to win the World Series in 2013. His leadership helped the team, but did not define it.
TRUTH: Yes, all teams have at least one leader of the pack. This person sets the tone for the team and brings people together to work through the hard times. This person is the driving force behind the mindset of the team.
But this one person does not DEFINE the team.
BESIDES: There are138 games left to play in the season! The Red Sox are not out yet!
Teams in business or sports are most successful when they recognize they have a weakness and look to someone who is strong where they are weak. They don’t stop working toward the goal simply because they have a weak spot.
When the pitcher walks in three runs, the game is not lost; the players know they have to score runs to even out the score. In business, if someone is good at creating ideas, we let them create. If a coworker needs help improving her public speaking skills, we don’t force her to present in front of executives. A strong team knows their teammates strengths and weaknesses. That’s how they win.
That’s how we win baseball games, too. If one player is having a hard time making contact with the ball, then another player steps up to home plate and gives it their all. If the third baseman misses the ball down the left field line, the left fielder is there to get it for him.
That’s what a TEAM is all about.
In the business world, we can learn a lot from sport’s teams.
Are you building your team on the shoulders of one person? Do you have a mindset that you, or someone on your team is indispensable? If you answer yes to this, you are failing as a leader. When you start to think this way, you need to look at using people for their strengths to make the team a cohesive unit who appreciates the role that every member plays.
Never let one person define your team, it’s the surefire way to set your team up for failure!
PS. The Boston Red Sox are my favorite team in the world. Can you tell?