Last night was the first game of the fall baseball season for Little League. I was the coach AKA Dugout Coordinator for my son’s baseball team, and my job was to make sure the kids bat in order. It is also my job to check in with the boys when they are on deck. As I was checking in with one of the boys he told me, “I won’t hit the ball” and I asked him why not, “I only had two hits last year”, he said. I’ve known this kid since he started playing T-Ball and he hasn’t been one of the best hitters in the league. However, I also know he has been working hard all summer and has been KILLING it in practice. His form and swing are the best they’ve ever been. He definitely has put in the prep work for the game.
As he got up to the plate I could see him shuffle up to the batter’s box. Then the cheers and encouragement from the other coaches and the team kicked in! We all wanted him to get a hit. After two strikes and sitting with a full count he nailed it… right to the shortstop who quickly threw him out at first.
When he turned to return to the dugout, I was pleasantly surprised. We did not see defeat on his face, but pure joy in the form of a smile like you’d see on a kid on Christmas morning. He and the entire team were psyched at that point in time. We all felt as if we had won the championship.
I could not help but to relate what happened last night to what I witness many times with my clients.
Self-defeating thoughts – Business owners and sales people often do not recognize how much they can really accomplish, that they have the skills and the abilities to achieve amazing things to crush sales goals and exceed revenue targets. However, they just don’t believe it.
Preparation and practice are how you improve – Working with clients I often hear, “I’m just not hitting my numbers”, and when we get clarity on why they are not hitting their numbers they are not putting in the prep time by practicing. They are not role playing scenarios with their managers. Instead, they are doing the same things they have always done and expecting better results.
Develop a repeatable process – the hit last night was largely because the player had been working on his form. He had developed a repeatable process that he was able to apply on the field that generated expected results. Not having a process or system in place will generate unrepeatable results.
Encouragement – Become a manager who encourages your employees to succeed. A key part of achieving amazing results as a team is allowing and encouraging team members to put in the preparation time needed so they are ready to execute the process to generate results. Don’t just reward results, reward the execution of a system. The baseball player did not get on base… he did not score… and in the end, we lost the game. However, he did his best and we celebrated as if we had just won the World Series.
So get out there and crush the ball!
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