r's name in muffled tones and eager anticipation fills the stands. The batter crosses in front of the dugout to home plate, accompanied by cheers and jeers. Wringing the bat in his hands, tightening his grip, he checks his stance and settles his feet. He brings the bat back with the full intent of achieving his team's goal - to win.
Everything up until the swing is planning. The actual crack as the bat makes contact with the ball is organization in action. This connection moves to action - action which is motivation and direction. The run to first base paves the way for the next batter and moves the team forward, each act brought about by the organized plan. The coach sits and views all this with a watchful eye making adjustments as needed or encourages passionate play to continue. Direction is necessary to maintain organization and pursue victory.
Evaluating each play and each player is the job of the manager. Was that the right next step? Is he in the right position? The coach and manager must communicate and supervise. Sharing concerns with the team must be coordinated and constructive in order for it to have impact and value. Whether you are a sole proprietor, only recruiter, part of a team, or managing the team, directing and leading from within - the 360° Leader - sees needs and defines action. Through example and motivation, goals are chased with zeal and are within grasp.
Leadership finds its way to the center, whatever role is held. The leader, the manager, the director, or the motivator are the lead-off batters, clearing a path and holding the torch, not only for visibility and clarity but to pass on when the time is right. The control of resources plus focus are imperative in the game - keep your eye on the ball. And players have to reach - motivation pushes employees to reach. Don't wait for the ball to come to you, go to it. Meet it head on.
As the team moves through practices and takes the field for the big game, a level of trust must be in place. The relationships among employees, the amity held with clients, hiring managers, or candidates must reflect the commitment brought to each game. The game plan reveals the barriers early on, they are surmountable. The playing of the game displays shortcomings, they can be rectified. The desire to win, the direction taken to make it so, comes from within and it is achievable.
"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." ~Hank Aaron
Independent Minor League Baseball. Baseball at its best. Fewer steroids, fewer and less rowdy fans, but still that lovely green grass of a baseball field so lovingly called a diamond and the smell of hot dogs and beer. The Flyers' tag line: Orange County's Greatest Show on Dirt. I love baseball but not just any baseball. Well, almost any baseball - I just love the sport. I love watching a team get it together and make something magical happen, like a double play or a close call at home.
How did I come by these tickets? Well, I could say I paid my hard-earned cash for them or I won them in a raffle or I have season tickets through work, but the truth of matter is a little more exciting and rewarding. I went to a networking luncheon. That's all, that's it. I showed up at a networking luncheon, did my pitch (low and outside), had a nice, hot lunch and some refreshing iced tea, hung around for the message, and did a little schmoozing. The marketing manager for the OC Flyers has been diligently presenting the team at all chamber events and giving away tix in drawings at the end of each of these events. "All pitchers are liars or crybabies." ~Yogi Berra funny This day, Ms. Marketing Manager stood at the front of a full room and said, "Anyone who who wants tickets, come see me after lunch. I want to pack the stadium, so I have as many tickets as you would like for free." I found her afterward, made my request and she handed over seven general admission tickets and said, "Enjoy the game." I smiled broadly..., did I mention I love baseball? So, tonight I am taking my son and several of his friends to the game.
"I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary." ~Yogi Berra The rewards of networking are not typically a baseball game. Sometimes, they are even richer. Sometimes, networking results in a new client or even a new job. Maybe, if you are lucky enough, a new friend. The rewards of teamwork are not typically another number in your win column or a call of "Safe!" at home plate. The real rewards go hand in hand with networking and socialization. So often we hear individuals say, "I'll just do it myself." or "I want it done right, so..." Well, you can't really do this thing completely alone. You have to have clients, HMs, candidates, applicants, partners..., your network. Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan made a poor attempt at professional baseball but, above all else, he understood teamwork. He said, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." Teamwork and intelligence. So, step lively at the plate, swing for the fences, make the saving catch, and slide when you need to. But know there's a bench waiting to tweet, update, blog, and forward whatever you toss their way. Truly comprehend: Your team's a lot bigger than it used to be. by rayannethorn…
By Josh Helmuth
April 17, 2012
If you followed the Cardinals' unlikely, magical championship run last October, then you're well aware of the emergence of the rally squirrel; the furry little critter that not only appeared pre-game, but ran across home plate during a Roy Oswalt vs. Skip Schumaker face-off at the plate during the NLDS series.Because the Cardinals seemingly won every game in which their little bushy tailed friend made an appearance in-game, fans and players alike embraced their good luck charm.
Signs of the rally squirrel were made by fans throughout the stadium, pitcher Octavio Dotel wore a stuffed version of their friend on his hat during the championship parade in downtown St. Louis, and even Topps' baseball card of Skip Schumaker features the squirrel hoping across home plate while the second baseman is at-bat, instead of featuring the second baseman himself (image below).
Well now the rally squirrel is forever engraved into Cardinals folklore in their World Series rings -- rings that were also given out to fans in replica fashion this past weekend.You can see the furry guy wedged between the "STL" logo and the crest of the bats and home plate featuring Chris Carpenter's No. 29.
But the uniqueness of the Cardinals' 2011 World Series rings doesn't stop there.On the inside of the ring, the words "Happy Flight" are engraved. The term was coined by shortstop Rafael Furcal around the time of the beginning of the playoffs because St. Louis had a knack for winning games in which they had an immediate flight out of town afterwards -- therefore, while boarding, they wanted to be in a good mood coming off a win, thus having a 'happy flight.'You can also see where there is detail on the inside of the ring where the logos of the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers are all engraved with the results from each series.
Photo Credits: Jostens via JoeSportsFan, St. Louis Cardinals
Josh Helmuth is the sports editor and lead baseball writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.