I find it ironic that on the eve of the All Star Game, the absolute All Star owner of all time, George Steinbrenner, of the New York Yankees, passed away. He was demanding, driven, and determined to be a winner. He was a winner in more ways than baseball. He was a winner in life. If you know anything about Mr. Steinbrenner you know he contributed so much to the world outside of baseball. His charitable contributions are no doubt “All Star” caliber.
Baseball’s All Star game signifies the midway point of the baseball season. Your business has just passed the midway point in the calendar year. So, how did you stack up? Did you make the All Star Team? If you were playing for the Yankees, would George have fired you or put you on the bench? Here are six tips that will get you off the bench and let you finish your season strong.
1. Hustle, Hustle Hustle-When I think of baseball and hustle I can’t help but think of Pete Rose. His nickname was “Charlie Hustle.” As a player Pete was the epitome of the word hustle. That is the mindset you need to be successful and move your business to the next level. You have to be determined to out-hustle the other guy, gal or business. The great thing about hustle is that it requires no God-given talent. It just requires a God-given heart which we are all supposed to have. So maybe you’ve not been hustling as hard as you should. Let’s hustle a little harder. Let’s dive for some line drives. Get with it.
2. Have a Game Plan-Nothing happens without a strategic game plan. The plan has to be well thought out. A solid plan requires research, time and talking to others. Those around you see and know things you cannot possibly know. It will surprise you what you can learn from people you would normally discount as not being important or having much to offer. Your plan should be constantly developing, growing, expanding. Adjustments are a part of the game. Those who can adjust to the changing conditions increase their chances of winning. Put the plan in place and be ready to make adjustments. Every one of those players in the All Star Game took batting practice before the game. Part of your batting practice needs to be to look for ways to tweak your game plan.
3. Think Fast-Think fast and move fast should be your motto. Decisions and changes need to be well thought out. If you’re “up early and stay up late” you can make fast decisions that will bury your competition. In baseball, even if your team has weak areas, speed can overcome a lot. Think fast, be fast.
4. Increase Your Communication-Communication starts by listening and responding. It takes a combination of meetings, memos, emails, and phone calls to distribute information. The keys are updates and progress reports. The more information you share with your team the more progress you will see and the more your team will develop. The more the team develops the more wins you get. There’s a lot of communication going on in a baseball game; signs, signals and meetings on the mound. You can never communicate the game plan too much or too often.
5. Get Back to Empowerment- Years ago, automobile dealers took a page out of the airline book of customer satisfaction by allowing staff members to make on the spot decisions to satisfy customers. Our policy for years was if the customer asks then the answer is “Yes.” That’s not to say that you don’t need to have limits, but you must empower your people to “just handle it” Nine times out of ten you’re going to do it anyway, so let them handle it in the trenches. If you have talented players sometimes you have to turn them loose. Talented base runners are often allowed to steal on their own. The coach lets them use their God-given talent. Yes, they get thrown out once in a while, but people have to make some mistakes in order to learn and get better.
6. Pick Up The Intensity-When you combine Intensity with Hustle it’s almost impossible not to become an All Star. There’s nothing magical here. Intensity separates the winners from the losers. It gets down to the teams who are moving ahead vs. the ones who are stagnant. How much are you willing to separate yourself and your business from the competition? Show me a laid back baseball player and I will show you a player who didn’t make the All Star Team.
George Steinbrenner was very intense. George Steinbrenner made it happen. George Steinbrenner was a winner. How do you measure up? Are you an All Star? George certainly was. George Steinbrenner said that what he wanted on his tombstone was “He Never Stopped Trying.” Rest in peace Mr. Steinbrenner.
That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs