It’s been 20 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team had a winning season. This year, they not only ended that difficult streak, but they also made the playoffs. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has had much to do with the resurgence of the team. So I took some time this week to learn more about Hurdle’s leadership style.
Hurdle is a bigger than life kind of man. He’s big physically, has a booming voice, and commands a presence. This may be why I was surprised to learn that one of the things Hurdle does best is show his players that he cares about them. Listen to this quote from ESPN.com about Hurdle coaching minor league baseball, “These are the questions a 17-year-old going to pro ball has about their manager, ‘Can I trust him? Does he trust me? Can he make me better? Does he care about me?’ My goal was to get those questions answered under my watch. Because then their skill set will come out. They won’t let you coach ’em up until they trust you.”
Hurdle figured out that his team members needed to know their leader cared about them before he could really reach them. He couldn’t begin to move the team toward its goals until the individual players knew they could trust Hurdle and that he really cared about them.
Even though Hurdle realized this with 17 year olds on their way to professional baseball, I have found that this idea applies also to the teams we lead. If we as leaders take time to show our team members that we care, they will be more loyal and more committed to our purpose and mission. With this loyalty and commitment from our team members, we can accomplish great things.
So ask yourself this week, ‘Can my team trust me? Do I trust my team? Do I care about the individuals on my team? Do I show them that I care? Do they know that I care?’ If you aren’t sure of the answers, start working on this right now. In my next post, I’ll talk about ways to show your team you care.
Thanks for reading,
Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62510-731-2