Every year baseball fans get to enjoy watching the best of the best come together, regardless of their home-team affiliation in the All-Star Game. This year’s game takes place today, July 14th, and will include players from the American and National Leagues who have been voted in by the fans. There are high stakes riding on the game: the winning league enjoys home field advantage in the World Series. The managers for the game are those who won their league's championship the previous year. The role of the manager is to dictate strategy on the field and provide team leadership, much like in business. The managers that lead teams in the All-Star Games have accomplished great things in the game of baseball. In business, the same qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and determination are equally valued. Check out these leadership qualities that are sure to help you become an all-star manager.
Set the bar high:
In his article in Entrepreneur, Craig Cincotta states, “great managers have one job: to get the very best out of the people they manage.” A great manager is an enabler, equipping their team with all of the necessary tools to be successful. To get the best out of your employees, be observant for areas of strength, weakness, disillusionment, and success. If you find that communication is lacking, suggest a new tool to streamline it. Or, if your team loved an initiative you promoted, do another similar one. Hold your team to a high standard of performance. Set realistic goals for your team, and expect the best. Determined employees will rise to the occasion, inspired by your faith in their ability to perform and perform well. If you follow through by providing them with current technology, training, and feedback, your effort will be rewarded with their performance, using the tools you gave them to achieve success. Remember that as the team leader you are accountable for everyone's actions. Their successes and failures are also yours.
Communication is key to any successful venture. Be clear and concise when assigning tasks to your team. If your communication is as efficient and clear as possible, there will be little room for error. You want your team to be confident in their own ability to complete tasks well. So instead of micromanaging, check in at regular intervals along the course of a project to ensure that your team members have a good understanding of what you are looking for and to give feedback. Things will move faster and employees will remain more engaged if you give them comments along the way, rather than having them complete an entire project only to have them redo a section. Strive for real-time feedback. If a baseball player is making a mistake in the field, the manager doesn’t wait until next week's practice to address it, they do it in the dugout between innings. Don’t aim for “better luck next time.” Let them get it right this time, with your help.
Know and coach:
Sparky Anderson, former MLB player, but Hall of Fame manager once stated, “Baseball is a simple game. If you have good players, and keep them in the right frame of mind, then the manager is a success.” You already have a skilled team, or you wouldn’t have hired them, but you need to develop these skills further and keep them on the right track in order to achieve success. Be a coach to your team, allowing them to hone their skills will benefit you both. A large part of this is making sure each team member is doing a job that plays to their own strengths. Get to know your team, understand where they excel and where they struggle, and assign them tasks accordingly. Would David Ortiz have achieved his status as the most successful designated hitter of all time if his coaches had constantly been placing him at shortstop? Probably not. Ortiz’s strength at his position translated into huge success for himself, his coach, and the entire organization. Knowing and coaching your team to their own success will have similar results for your business.
The way you lead will set the tone for your entire team. Inspire them with your confidence, commitment, and decisiveness. If you are confident in your own ability to take chances, or to try a new strategy and be successful, your employees will be more inclined to take calculated risks as well. This will open channels for innovation as more people will be comfortable sharing new ideas. Demonstrate a real commitment to success. Be constantly asking for negative or positive feedback and then take measures to improve or maintain those areas. Be a decision maker. Don’t go halfway with an idea. Formulate a strategy, make a plan, and execute on it. Wavering back and forth gets nothing done. If you want to inspire your team, you must produce results. This will give them confidence that you are the real-deal, someone they can actually take advice from and try to emulate.
When you’re watching the All Star Game Tuesday night, pay attention to the profile of the managers. Professional baseball managers were usually players at one point. When they were players, they too had a mentor in their manager, helping them grow as a player, and giving them the necessary skills to move on to coaching. Following these tips to become an all-star manager will ensure your business and team have the greatest success possible under your supervision. However, more than that, by teaching through example you will also be training great leaders whose skills will permeate the company, benefitting the entire organization and spurring them to world champion caliber!
Amanda McGuinness is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. A social media expert and avid writer, she believes in creating fresh, creative content to build brand awareness.