Five strategies to develop major league leadership in your business

A baseball manager, a sales manager, a vice president and even a CEO all have similar goals — they want to win! They want their people to work their hardest and they want their people to work their best.

Major League Leadership, a model based on more than 100 interviews with some of Major League Baseball’s contemporary managers and players, includes some of the most important strategies to lead our teams to success.

Below are five of the strategies you can use to become a Major League Leader and bring home your championship:

Identify and Show your Passion

If you want your people to get excited about a project, have a positive attitude in the workplace and put their best foot forward, you need to set the tone and show them how excited you are as well. In baseball we see many high-fives when things go well; we may not use that same approach in business, but we can certainly show our excitement for a job done well and accomplishments achieved.

Lead by Example

Chicago Cubs manager and 2015 National League Manager of the Year Joe Maddon told me that he keeps his team focused and positive by being the “same” person the day after a big win or the day after a big loss.  If we want our employees to stay positive when things are difficult, or stay focused when there are many projects to be completed, we need to do the same and show them that we are with them each step of the way.

Earn and Keep the Respect of Your Team

In many cases, we are given some respect based on the position we’re in, whether it is deserved or not, whether we keep the respect of our colleagues and employees; however, is up to us!

Davey Johnson, former MLB, Olympic, and Team USA manager, shared this with me about trust and respect, “I don’t care how long you’ve been in this game or what kind of success you’ve had in this game, every day you have to gain their trust and every day you have to gain their respect.”

To be a Major League Leader, you need to continuously show our people that we deserve their trust and respect.

Get to Know your People, Build Relationships with Them and Show Your Support

Major League Leaders know all about their people. They know what drives them to perform to their best and know how to bring forth their greatness. Players told us that when they know managers “have their back,” it encourages them to do more for the manager and for the team.

Make sure your people know you support them and watch them take calculated chances and excel.

Communicate and Create a Culture of Success

We all want to win, but the definition of winning differs for us all. We need to first understand our definition for ourselves, our organization, and our industry and then communicate that definition to all those who are a part of making it happen.

As many of the managers told me, it takes 25 players to win a game and each of them needs to know their role in making that success a reality. Be sure all your “players” know their role and how they fit into the overall goals you envision.

Remember, to become a Major League Leader we need to lead ourselves, lead our people, and then lead our ‘game’, whatever our game might be…

Howard Fero, Ph. D., The Leadership Doc, is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator,and executive coach.  He is the co-author of Lead Me Out to the Ballgame: Stories and Strategies to Develop Major League Leadership, based on more than100 interviews with Major League Baseball players, managers and executives.  Fero is the director of Graduate Leadership Programs and a professor of management and leadership at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut.