Facing the Giants: How Sports Teams are Building Leaders

OK, I’ll admit it. I am beyond mid-life. I can no longer call myself an “emerging leader” like those I train in my career.  But, I am enjoying some of the most gratifying moments of my life today…hanging out with emerging leaders.

Over the last two weekends, I traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona and Tampa, Florida to equip baseball coaches and players for the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  I was not only impressed with the caliber of talents both clubs have—I was impressed with the attitudes and spirit of those men.

The Giants are committed to building leaders in their minor league clubs. We have entered a partnership where five of their teams will hold a weekly discussion with their manager and coaches on the “Habitudes” we created over the last few years. Each Habitude represents a timeless principle that young leaders must learn to lead their lives well.  Rarely have I been in front of a more engaged, respectful and talented bunch of athletes than when I stood in front of their 150-plus players, all between 17 and 28 years old.  Jeremy Affeldt, who pitches for their major league team was kind enough to introduce the Habitudes to the younger players and encouraged them to practice them, and pass them on to their own kids in the future.

I am encouraged to see how those athletes fair in the future, as they build not only their biceps but their backbone. Here’s a question for you. When you think about the young people around you—are you working on building their character? Their life skills?  Are you helping them grow up, not merely grow older?

More tomorrow.


Facing the Giants: How Sports Teams are Building Leaders