Monthly Archives: March 2016


In life, like baseball, failure is inevitable. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Nobody likes to fail. But if we’re all honest, we understand that failure is a part of life. There is no growth and success without some amount of failure, just ask many great athletes. A great inventor like Thomas Edison experienced a lot of failures on the way to a successful invention. The best power hitters in baseball struck out much more often than they hit a home run. Coaches make wrong in game decisions or do a poor job at managing diverse personalities on the team. Scouts draft and sign players who they feel are certain can’t miss prospects, only to observe over time that they miserably failed at the professional level.

Anyone pursuing a goal of value will make mistakes, wrong choices or poor decisions. So the key is to expect failure, to prepare for it, to be ready turn it into a lesson and a stepping stone to success. However I believe there is such a thing as a successful failure. The following are some characteristics of a successful failure…

Optimism – Find the benefit in every bad experience: Recently, I read that Thomas Edison redefined the failures in his experiments as “10,000 ways that won’t work.” He expected failure and counted it as one of the costs of finding a way that would work. The same can be said about basketball great Michael Jordan – He said, “I have failed over and over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed.” By finding the benefit in the failure, these men were able to keep attempting something great. Optimism is not limited to a few people as a personality trait. Optimism is a choice. Yes, a choice. And while it doesn’t guarantee immediate positive results, it does result in higher motivation and stronger character.

Responsibility – Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility: When we fail at something, it’s easy to blame someone or something else. Perhaps the circumstances or the people that we worked with. But failure is a learning opportunity. If I blame someone else, I’m just cheating myself out of that lesson. Life is about lessons. Responsibility is more important than reputation. And it tends to lead to reward, which can lead to more responsibility. Your willingness to take responsibility and ownership marks you as someone who is mature and can be trusted to learn from the failure and keep trying.

Resilience – Say goodbye to yesterday: The ability to move on from your failure is key to continuing to attempt great things. Don’t move in and take up residence in your failure or mistake. The mind can only focus on so much, so if we’re still too focused on what we did wrong, we can’t give all of our attention to attempting to do what is right. Don’t live in the past. Move on. The mistake or failure you made is history. The key is to let it go and focus on what is ahead. There will always plenty of shallow people who love to “pile on” and point fingers at those who have failed. Sadly, they seem to forget quickly that they have failed many times in life as well. Stay focused on the future. Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure – it just means that you haven’t succeeded yet.

Initiative – Take action and face your fear: When we make mistakes and then consider trying again, we all feel some measure of fear. It is perfectly normal. Facing the unknown, we easily come up with a list of things to worry about. But the act of worrying doesn’t help us at all in accomplishing our goals. For me, I am continually learning this lesson. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. Just believing that failure can be good isn’t enough to help us succeed. We need to act on that belief and take a step forward again in pursuit of our dream. Don’t quit. Don’t allow anyone to keep you from chasing your passion and dreams. Keep moving forward! Only then do we learn from our mistakes and make progress. Never perfection, but progress. Mistakes and failures are inevitable.

Albert Einstein said; “The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Don’t be that person!!!

A successful failure is a failure that we respond to correctly by finding the good in it, taking responsibility for it, moving on from it, and taking proper action to change it.

I hope you and your family members have a great Easter weekend together!



Q: How do you respond to failure? Which of the above characteristics would you benefit from adopting?  



As a baseball scout, I have seen many talented players, coaches and scouts over the years be influenced by poor friends they have chosen and it eventually brought them down and led to their demise. As a fellow baseball coach or scout, I’m sure you have experienced the same thing as well. I am always reminded that – The choices we make today will impact our life tomorrow. 

George Washington once said; “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”  There is an old Proverb that says: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 

One of the most important things a leader can do is to surround him (or her) self with the right kind of people. I have a friend who constantly says, “The friends you choose to do life with  will determine the quality and direction of your life.” I couldn’t agree more!

Prior to current Houston Astros player, Evan Gattis being drafted, I read a quote by him. Evan said; “I was so wrapped up being a baseball player, I had no idea if anyone really cared about me.” Evan went on to talk about how important it is to surround yourself with good friends and relationships in your life.

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Show me the five people who are closest to you and I’ll show you who you’ll be in five years. Studies show that you are an average of the five people closest to you in your life. Not happy with your life?  Maybe it’s time to surround yourself with some different people.

It is impossible to fathom how different my life would be if I were not surrounded by some great people. People who are willing to tell me what I need to hear – not what I want to hear. If you are looking for a tangible way to improve your reputation, start by choosing the right friends. Remember, it is better to be alone than in bad company.

The next five years of your life are going to pass quickly. What will you become? That’s up to you. However rest assured of this – Your destination will depend on the friends you choose.

Choose Wisely!

Have a great week!



Question: What is the most important quality you look for in a friend? 



With baseball season in full gear, every baseball coach, manager, executive, scout, crosschecker or scouting director, understands the game they love requires days, weeks and time away from home. There is a cost, a trade off if you will. Blink, and your children go from age 2-22.

Many of these men will travel between 100-250 nights a year on the road. Ballpark to ballpark, town to town, city to city and state to state. Multiple weeks of long grinding road trips, on a bus, in a car or on an airplane. Time and miles away separated from their wife, children and loved ones. Many reading this today can clearly identify.

Recently, I read an interesting statement from a gentleman named, Phil Bolsta.  It was a great reminder about how important it is to relish the moments you have with your family and loved ones. Without being morbid, let me remind you, that at some point in life’s journey, there will be one last time that you will have the opportunity to talk to each of your family members. What if you knew your next time would be your last time?

Bolsta states, “Imagine that earlier in the day you got the news that your loved one had passed away suddenly. If that had actually happened, you would have given all you owned to sit with them like you’re sitting with them right now—to hold their hand, to look them in the eye, to say “I love you” one more time. What a gift, what a miracle that would be! And yet, that same experience barely registers in the course of an ordinary day.” 

Wow! I am quickly reminded that authentic leaders not only lead on the field of competition, in a ballpark or in their departments, but they lead at home first and foremost. It starts with not just being there physically when you get home, but really “being there.”  Fully engaged, totally present, and thoroughly interested in what is happening in the lives of your wife, children and loved ones.

Computer, tablet and cell phone in the off position for an appointed time. Fully engaged and focused on the ones you are leading first. It must be a priority to maintain balance between work and home. Always remember, the word LOVE is spelled T.I.M.E. 

If you find yourself unbalanced between your home life and baseball life, maybe it’s time to re-focus the way you look at your family members and loved ones. Determine today to carve out margin in your schedule to make it a priority. Time is short, and those you are leading first are counting on you.

Have a great week!



Why do you think it’s so difficult for leaders to maintain balance between work and home?