The boys of summer are at it again: Baseball’s first pitch has been thrown. Watch one game and you can learn a lot about how to improve your game right now. Here are baseball’s big lessons for leadership.

  1. You’ve got to swing the bat if you’re going to get a hit. Standing at the plate watching pitches go by isn’t going to win you any games. Where in your life right now are you ready to step up to the plate – and swing? Where are you ready to demonstrate your confidence and make a decision? It’s time to move forward: swing the bat.
  2. You can win games by manufacturing runs. When you do swing the bat, it doesn’t have to be a home run that you hit. Hitting singles and taking advantage of the opportunities your opponent offers is a winning formula. Perfection isn’t what’s needed, consistency is. Where in your life are you ready to celebrate the “incremental runs” you’re generating?
  3. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. Keep your eye on the ball; put your elbow up; lead with your hips; keep the bat level. Batting is a science, and those that are disciplined get on base more than those who don’t. Where in your job are you ready to go to the next level by going back and delivering on the basics, the fundamentals that are key to your success?
  4. And as Tom Hanks reminded us, There’s no crying in baseball. Whiners, complainers, those focusing on all their problems and what’s not working don’t get to play. Putting on the uniform means it’s not about you, it’s about the team. Whether you work at the ball park or the industrial park, you must be able to lead yourself – your focus and your emotions – if you want to be successful at leading others.

And one more big baseball lesson for leadership: It’s a long season. Do everything you can to win, then enjoy the game.

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