Someone once stated: “Speed of the Leader – Speed of the Team” I couldn’t agree more. Just because someone has the title of “leader” does not mean they are a “leader.”
Have you ever seen a successful assistant baseball coach, area scout, or crosschecker bomb out on being the leader of a team, region, or department when they got the opportunity? That can happen because there are different competencies needed for being an assistant coach, area scout and crosschecker, than for leading and directing a team of people. Competency is defined as, “The intuitive knowledge and ability to do something successfully or efficiently.”
When an incompetent person gets hired or promoted 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 on the team ends up frustrated.
When selecting the right baseball leader for your team or organization, it is always important to look for people who have a certain 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 want a leader with solid character…but also skill.
Stretch your thinking here for a minute. A very big missing ingredient in becoming a quality baseball leader on a team or department is the ability to surround yourself with people who have quality strengths. Be honest with yourself and hire someone smarter. 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 skills? When I think of a competent leader being a responsible leader I think of five important ingredients…
1) Faithful: A leader in baseball who does not “show up” everyday and give their best to his team or 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. Players and staff members may not voice it, however they will see right through it if you are not.
2) Teachable: A leader in baseball who thinks they know it all or feels like they have all the answers is not a competent leader. It is a must that a leader remain humble in order to remain teachable. Team members can sniff out who is authentic or who is self-centered. Be humble. Be teachable, and those you are leading will go to battle for you.
3) Passion: A leader simply has a deep passion to lead! A baseball leader cares about the players, staff, and families they are leading. Either you have passion or you don’t. Passion cannot be taught. A talented baseball coach or scout is important, but passion trumps it every time. If you can combine the two, then you have the potential for greatness.
4) Unified: A leader in baseball who is not unified at the end of the day with his players or staff is not a competent 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.
5) 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 or organization better bleed what you bleed or you are asking for trouble. Team and organizational leaders should know how to bring people together rather than pulling them apart. They should set the course not dictate the direction. Their focus is simply on whats best for the team or organization. They make it a point that all egos and agendas (the leaders first and foremost) are checked at the door of the office or clubhouse. They protect the culture of their team and staff. If it doesn’t benefit the team and organizational philosophy, it’s not welcome.
So, the question is simple. What kind of team leader are you? Baseball teams and organizations are looking for competent and responsible leaders, not necessarily superstar leaders. As you look back over the list above, I encourage you to ask yourself how you are doing? You can fool a lot of people – however you can’t fool yourself. Those you are leading are depending on you.
Have a great week!
What five traits above are you still working to develop?