Our team, at Growing Leaders, had the privilege of meeting with and/or training leaders in five professional baseball clubs: The Atlanta Braves, The Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the San Francisco Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Because I have loved baseball all of my life—I was in hog heaven.
But even greater than my love of sports is my love for organizations that work with young people and are committed to building them into great leaders. That’s what I experienced these last five days of my life. I addressed managers and coaches and spoke to them about equipping young, Generation iY athletes. I spoke to minor league players, ages 16 to 24 years old, and launched them into another season of our Habitudes For Athletes program. (During the season, their mangers and coaches actually discuss a Habitudes image with their teams each week.)
Each of the coaches seemed to realize:
1. Building young leaders requires you first build a relationship with them.
2. Successful coaching is more than just winning—it’s about building solid men.
3. Managers often must re-parent young players who have no moral compass.
4. Developing leadership in players pays dividends long after they stop playing.
I was completely encouraged by the player development departments on these teams who “get it.” They see the big picture. I was also reminded that you can build young leaders in the most surprising of places—on an athletic team. Here’s to more high school, college and professional sports teams taking on that role in the future.
In the mean time, I’ve got a lot of teams to root for.