Monthly Archives: June 2015


Last February, I wrote a blog on the 2015 Major League Baseball first year player draft being four months away. Tonight, all the hard work by scouting directors, crosscheckers, area scouting supervisors and front office scouting personnel will be on center stage. The hard work is done. Game evaluations, showcases, pre-draft workouts, medical reviews, player interviews and draft meetings are complete. Prospects and their family members wait in anticipation. Game on!


The Arizona Diamondbacks select #1 overall and are on the clock. They have competent scouts and front office baseball personnel. They know the type of player they are looking for that fits in to their organizational philosophy. Tonight, they will make their best informed decision based on the information they have gathered over the past several months. The same is true for the other 29 organizations as well.

How clear are you on what you’re looking for in your next hire? Selecting people (or baseball players) is difficult at best. Often we get it wrong. However, knowing exactly what you’re looking for helps; not what others are looking for, but what you are looking for. Regardless of the profession, the following three traits are key to look for and evaluate with every new hire you bring on to your team or in your organization.


Character: This is first on the list for a reason. It’s the most important – not that other factors aren’t, but forming, reforming and transforming character is extremely hard. Character is simply who you are. Do Major League Baseball scouts look at character? You bet they do…if they don’t, they better start. Leaders in the market place should as well. Are you clear on the character traits you’re looking for? How will you discern those traits? This is a big deal. If you miss on this one, you will have major problems later.

Competence: Character is critical, however it’s NOT a substitute for the ability to get the job done. Have you clearly identified the skill set of your new hire? How can you be sure they possess them? My friend who works for a large Fortune 500 company in their HR dept taught me that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. In baseball, scouts look carefully at past performance history – it gives them a measurable as they confidently work through the process of selecting the right player. Analytic’s and old fashion baseball scouting are married together to make the best informed decision on drafting the right player. In the market place, If the candidate hasn’t previously demonstrated what you need them to do for your company, it’s not a deal killer, but you would be wise to proceed with caution. Competence is key!

Chemistry: This may be the easiest for many leaders to discern. Do you feel this person will fit into your culture? Will the people in your organization connect with this new person? On many Major League Baseball scouting reports there is a category called “makeup.”  In my opinion, it is one of the most important categories on a report. Professional and collegiate sports teams are full of examples of players who get traded, suspended, released or dismissed because they don’t “fit in the program.”  This screams chemistry!  Always remember, talent wins games – but chemistry wins championships. Chemistry matters!

Peter Drucker said; “The most important decision a leader makes is who does what.”  Who will be your next “draft” pick?  I don’t know that answer for you; however tonight for all 30 Major League Baseball teams we will find out.

I trust that Character, Competence and Chemistry will help you make the best informed decision for your team and organization. Happy hunting!

Special Note: This will be my last leadership blog post for the rest of the summer. The next blog will be Monday, August 3rd.

Have a great week and a fantastic summer! Thank you for your support.



What do you look for when selecting people for your team and organization?



If you are a baseball coach or scout you know how tempting it can be to focus on failure instead of success. As a scout, if we’re not careful, it can be tempting to focus more on what a player “can’t do” than what he “can do.”  You know being a coach or scout, if a hitter “fails” 7 out of 10 times they are still a pretty good hitter. Errors and failure are a big part of the game we love.

If you are a leader in baseball, when it comes to evaluating your players, coaching staff or scouting staff, do you focus more on success or failure?

Author Bobb Biehl has written some of the best material on evaluating others you lead. Biehl reminds leaders, “80 to 90 percent of all your evaluation should be focused on the positive – what they’re doing right, not what they’re doing wrong.” He goes on, “An evaluation is meant to help a person look good, not to make them look bad. Evaluation is more preventive than corrective.”

So, how are you doing as an evaluator of your team members? Do they look forward to evaluation day or do they view it as judgment day? Great leaders inspire through encouragement. Mediocre leaders look for mistakes and play the blame game.

Carving out margin in my weekly schedule to write a leadership blog in order to challenge and encourage baseball coaches and scouts takes time and creativity. Often times, I ponder if it’s actually helping those who read it?  Thankfully, it is! Case in point…

I was encouraged last week from Scouting Director who sent me an email of affirmation and encouragement. He shared with me how much he looks forward and appreciates the blog every Monday morning and what it’s meant to him personally as he leads his scouting staff and family from the road. Wow! That simple email affirmed and encouraged me more than he will ever realize.

My favorite leaders are positive leaders. They understand the value of affirmation. “Negative” and “Critical” words are rarely associated with respected leaders. If you want to be a great leader, work on being a great encourager.

It is amazing how performance goes up when praise and encouragement is present. Why not make it your goal today to say at least one positive comment in every conversation you have with those you are leading?

If you want to be a better leader, start with being more positive with your team. Make them look good – and they will make you look even better.

Have a great week!



Which comes more natural for you – focusing on the positive or looking for mistakes?