Playing for a new Manager

Teams succeed and teams fail.  It is inevitable.  Many people say you cannot fire the team, at least not all of the team, so finding a new manager for a baseball team is a common occurrence if the team falters for a longer period of time.

Business organizations have leadership changes also.  Just as in baseball, it is hard to fire the team, so we often change the manager of the team.  He/she is charged with getting things done and there is little difference between baseball and business in this area.

During this series we have spoken about the connections between baseball and business, we have talked about how you can sacrifice for your team, and we have also contrasted and compared Starters, Middle Relievers and Closers in the workplace and on the diamond.

We will spend some time today learning about how to adapt when a new manager comes to town.

When do managers get replaced?  Here are a few examples:

  • the team goes through a prolonged period of not meeting their goals or losing games
  • the team has bad chemistry-people don’t get along and the team is less than the sum of their parts
  • the team is not improving-they seem to have the right ingredients, but they do not improve and grow with time

All of these descriptions fit both baseball and business and the correlation between the two is quite high in my view.  Now that we know the common reasons for managers to be replaced, let’s talk about how the team adapts and how the manager can adapt.  Let’s look at the team first.

  • members of the team should always have a clear indication of their goals-they should know individual and team goals and maintain a focus on both
  • team members should strive to know themselves well as well as their teammates-the road to failure is paved with bad relationships and misunderstandings
  • teammates should strive to grow and expand their skills and roles with time-you are either growing or going-there is no standing still

Lets’ look at this list from the managers point of view:

  • managers should always clearly articulate and reinforce the goals of the team-lack of goals or lack of communication is deadly for all concerned
  • managers should spend adequate time helping the team to work out and communicate issues and differences-great players have differences in approach and the skill in a great manager is getting great players to play together
  • managers need to focus on helping the team continuously improve-there is always something new to learn or something that can be done better-practice, practice, practice

This has been a quick run through on how teammates and leaders can better function together on both the diamond and in the workplace.

No team functions without teamwork or a good leader.

Business is the same.

You practice like you play.  Practice hard!