Monthly Archives: October 2014


Not long ago I was listening to a podcast. The communicator made a powerful statement that rings true regardless of the profession you work in or what you do in life.

He said; “Show me your friends and I will show you your future. Show me the five people you are closest to and I will show you who you will be in five years.” 

While researching this statement, studies show that you are an average of the five people who are closest to you. Not happy with your life or the direction it’s going?  Perhaps its time to surround yourself with some different people.


The next five years are going to pass – and they will pass quickly.

What will you become? That’s up to you.

However rest assured your destination will depend on your relationships. Because the friends you choose to surround yourself with WILL determine the quality and direction of your life. You can count on it!

Choose wisely!



What is the most important quality you look for in a friendship? 



There are few places that have less sympathy than the boardroom.  Cut throat, me first, step on whoever you have to in order to make it to the top, usually rules the day.  However, the waiting room in a hospital is just the opposite.

A few weeks ago I spent time in a waiting room while my friends father had surgery. When I left the hospital and got back in my car to drive home, I walked away asking myself . . .

“Why Can’t the Boardroom Be More Like the Waiting Room?” 


The waiting room is no less stressful than the boardroom.  Actually it can be even more tense. Business and politics pale in comparison to heart bypass surgeries, cancer surgeries, birth of a child, and organ removal of a friend or family member.

Yet around the work place we convince ourselves that work is bigger than life, which can lead to people acting like fools.

In the waiting room people serve each other.  They pray for each other,  They share with each other.  They show compassion to each other. Everyone encourages all the others in the room, even perfect strangers.  How much money you make, the color of your skin, your title, the car you drive and neighborhood you live in are all irrelevant.

While I was sitting in the waiting room with my friend, people shared newspapers, family stories, pictures of their family member or close friend, and no one demanded to hold the TV remote control. A stranger offered to go get a cup of coffee for me and a few others in the room…and we trusted them to do so.

If you want to be a better leader in your work place or ball club, just act like you would if you were in a waiting room and watch what happens. People don’t care how much you know – until they know how much you care.

The waiting room . . . a great place to learn relational leadership.



What other places can serve as a classroom for relational leadership?




Recently, I had a conversation with a coach who read one of my blogs on the importance of living life with intention. He got stuck on that thought and realized he had not been intentional, particularly as it related to his career.

As it turns out, he was a successful head baseball coach in another part of the country. He was making more money than he had dreamed possible. His program was flourishing, However he was deeply unsatisfied.

“If I’m honest, I think I became a baseball coach because my father was a coach. It was expected. I didn’t think I had a choice,” he confessed.

“However I’m not satisfied,” he continued. “I only get to spend a couple hours a day with my wife and children. I feel like a factory worker on a conveyor belt. It’s all I can do to make myself go to work.”

He was good at what he did. His career was a success in terms of the baseball coaching world. However he had lost his passion. As I later reflected on his situation, I concluded career satisfaction requires three components.

You must be passionate. This is where it begins. What do you care about? What moves you? What gets your motor going? What problems do you want to solve or issues you want to address? If your heart is not in your work, you have a job – but not a calling.

You must be competent. We discussed this last week. Passion alone is not enough. You have to be good at what you do. Being “good-enough” will not give you the satisfaction you desire. You have to excel at your craft. Mastery is the goal. You need to become an expert.

You must create a market. To enjoy a successful career, people must be willing to pay you for what you do. You don’t have to get rich, but there must be a market for you and your product or service. Otherwise, your career is not sustainable.

If you have all three of these components, you experience satisfaction. You are functioning in your sweet-spot. Few things in life are more rewarding. I envision it as three overlapping circles. However be wary of only having two:

  • If you have passion and competence without a market, you have a hobby. We all know people like this. Take for instance a musician. Musicians who love what they do, are accomplished on their chosen instrument, but many can’t pay the bills.
  • If you have passion and a market without competence, you have failure. If you aren’t willing to put in the hours honing your craft, it will eventually catch up with you. You will struggle to get hired or simply be flushed in the next round of layoffs.
  • If you have competence and a market without passion, you have boredom. This was the coach’s challenge. On the surface he had it all. But in his heart, he was missing the one piece he needed to find satisfaction in his work…Passion!

You can get by for a time with only two of the three elements as described. But if you want to succeed at the deepest level, you must incorporate all three. Passion, Competence, and Market. The sweet-spot – go after it today!



Do you possess all three of these components? What is missing? What could you do to become more satisfied in your work?



Someone once stated: “Speed of the Leader – Speed of the Team”  I couldn’t agree more!  Competence is defined as, “The intuitive knowledge and ability to do something successfully or efficiently.”  

Have you ever seen a successful assistant baseball coach or area scout bomb out on being a head coach or scouting director when they got the opportunity? It can happen because there are different competencies needed for being an assistant coach or area scout, than there are for a head coach or directing and managing a scouting staff. This scene all to often repeats itself.

When an individual gets hired or promoted who lacks competence, they will get frustrated, and everyone around them does as well. Moving an unqualified person into leadership is always a bad move. We have all seen people placed in leadership roles who were not yet ready to lead a team or department. When this happens, everyone ends up frustrated and the entire team will suffer. Your leadership and competence will rise only to it’s level. You can count on it! It will not be a matter of “if” but “when.”


When selecting the right baseball leader for your team and organization, it is always important to look for people who have a qualified level of competency. They need to be people who are wired to give leadership to those they are leading. The word “Competent” is front and center. You definitely want a leader with the right type of character and conduct, however skill (or competency) is just as important.

Stretch your thinking here for a minute. A very big missing ingredient in becoming a quality baseball leader on a team and organization is the ability to surround yourself with people who have quality strengths. Be honest with yourself and hire someone competent not just your buddy. Buddies who are not competent will directly impact you.

Drawing on the strengths of others is the mark of a great leader! Competency answers the “Can this coach or scout get the job done” question. Are they proven? Are they skilled? Are they properly trained? Do they have the required relational and communication skills?  When I think of a competent leader being a responsible leader – the following six important characteristics come to mind…

Faithful: A leader in baseball who does not “show up” everyday and give their best to his team and organization is not a competent leader. They are faithful to the process. No matter how gifted you are in your ability as a baseball coach or scout. Being faithful to “show up” everyday is essential to those you are leading.

Available: When looking to select a person to lead your team or department choose a person who is available when you need them. You shouldn’t have to chase them down relentlessly. Availability is vital to the team members they are leading and to those they are accountable too. If that individual is having a hard time being available, they probably are not ready for leadership and the red lights of competency should be blinking.

Teachable: A leader in baseball who thinks they know it all or feels like they have all the answers is not a competent leader. Leaders are readers. Remaining teachable is very important. A leader must remain humble in order to remain teachable. Be teachable and those you are leading will go the extra mile for your team and organization.

Passion: A leader in baseball who is competent simply has a deep passion to lead! They genuinely care about the team, players, staff and families they are leading, and have a passion to lead them. Either you have passion or you don’t. Passion cannot be taught. A talented baseball coach or scout is important, however passion trumps it every time. If you can combine the two, then you have the potential for greatness.

Unified: A leader in baseball who is not unified at the end of the day with his team, players and staff will not be a responsible leader. It’s a must that everyone is on the same page. You can respectfully disagree regarding a player, potential prospect, or staff member, however at the end of the day unity is essential to thrive as a team and organization.

Team: A leader in baseball is someone who sees the whole as more important than one individual. Anyone who is going to join your team and organization better bleed what you bleed or you’re asking for trouble. Team and organizational leaders know how to bring people together rather than pulling them apart. Their focus is simply on what is best for the team and organization. They make it a point that all egos and agendas are checked at the door to the office or clubhouse. They protect the culture of their team. If it doesn’t benefit the team and organization, it’s not welcome.

So, the question is simple. What kind of team leader are you? Baseball teams and organizations are looking for competent leaders – not necessarily superstar leaders. As you look back over the list above, I encourage you to ask yourself how you are doing?

Remember, everything rises and falls on leadership! Those you are leading are influencing are depending on you.



What six characteristics above are you still working to develop?