Play Ball

Oct 21, 2009

I recently attended a seminar conducted by Skip Weisman. After completing a 20-year career in Minor League Professional Baseball management, Skip launched Weisman Success Resources to help small to medium sized companies improve their approach to their businesses.


"Champions do not necessarily do extraordinary things, but Champions always do fundamental things extraordinarily well!”


Think about it – it’s the little things that count. One of the most boring drills in spring training is the pitcher covering first when the ball is hit to the right side of the infield. The drill is repeated over and over. Can you recall a time when your team’s pitcher failed to cover first and the runner eventually scored?


It’s the little things. Even in this month’s playoffs, you can see examples. The Twins’ Nick Punto assumed that a ground ball up the middle went through to the outfield. He rounded third and headed for home. The Yankees’ Derek Jeter fielded it behind second base and threw the ball home to catcher Jorge Posada, who threw to Alex Rodriguez and caught Punto diving back to third.


Nick Punto was quoted as saying, “I wanted to dig a hole, crawl inside it and die. It was really embarrassing.”


One would have thought that the Twins learned in the fourth inning of a scoreless Game 2. Carlos Gomez fell rounding second on a single by Matt Tolbert. Delmon Young was heading home; Gomez failed to get in a rundown and was tagged out before Young could score, costing the Twins a run and possibly the game. We know what happened in the series.


It is when the little things are done correctly and become second nature, an organization proceeds to the next level.


In his article at , Weisman writes that there are five areas on which company leaders must focus to create a “Champion Culture" which results in a high performing, high morale workplace that will generate outstanding results and set you apart from the competition. With Skip’s permission I am sharing them below:


C = Commitment

Athletic teams become champions because their athletes are committed to the compelling Vision, Strategy and Purpose of getting to the championship game. In business, companies can create a similar commitment by creating and communicating a compelling Vision, Strategy and Purpose to their team members.


Are your employees committed or just complying with their job descriptions to collect a paycheck?


H = Humility

Athletes become champions because they continually improve as they face tougher competition every step of the way. This means they must be open to regular feedback and continually look for ways to get better.


Does your company culture espouse an environment where learning from mistakes is encouraged and asking for help is seen as a strength?


A = Accountability


There are two components to accountability that create champions, setting clear performance expectations and measuring job performance against those expectations. It works in athletics. But most companies fall short in managing specific job performance accountabilities in order to maintain consistent progress toward agreed upon objectives.


What is your company’s process for communicating specific upfront performance expectations and managing accountability to the desired performance?


M = Motivation


Champions are action oriented. When obstacles arise champions find a way through, over, around or under to stay on track. Procrastination (the opposite of motivation) is not in their mindset or habits. How many business owners, CEOs and other business professionals have significant challenges with the habit of procrastination.


How motivated is your team? How are procrastination and avoidance issues negatively impacting your company’s bottom line?


P = Preparation


Champions show up prepared. They practice almost every day in-season when not playing games. They review films of their opponents to learn the tendencies, strengths and weaknesses they can exploit. Yet in business, you've probably experienced far too many team members showing up ill-prepared. Not enough time is invested in preparing for the work week, the workday, key meetings, and sales presentations.


How can your company raise the bar on preparation to begin functioning as a CHAMP?


If you need help in creating a championship culture and mindset at your company please visit or feel free to contact Skip at or contact Ed Baloga, Partner with B2B CFO®  at or at 914.474.9547.



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