It Starts with Believing

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know I’ve written a couple recent posts about the Pirates dramatic turnaround and the role of their manager Clint Hurdle. (, But in my research about Hurdle’s leadership style, I uncovered some very meaningful leadership lessons to share.  So at the risk of alienating all of my readers outside of Pittsburgh, I’m going to share some additional lessons from the manager of the Pirates who orchestrated their first winning season in 20 years.

Communicate the vision and get the team believing – quoted one Pirates player, “He’s reminded us where we can be and where we should be, and I think the biggest thing that he’s pulled out of all of us is believing in ourselves.”  My thoughts:  As leaders, we need to paint a picture of where we can be as an organization.  Then we need to instill the confidence in our team members so they believe they can get us there.

Model a positive attitude for your team – This player went on to say, “He [Hurdle] comes in to work every day with a good attitude, and that kind of rubs off on each and every one of us.”  My thoughts:  Your team members are always watching you.  And, they will also tend to emulate you.  So, as is the case with the Pirates, if they see a positive, excited, motivated leader, that will rub off on your team and you’ll soon have an organization that’s positive, excited, and energized.

Persevering through adversity – The star of the Pirates, Andrew McCutchen, said, “I feel like young teams like ours tend to dwell on losses more than teams that win.  Teams that win, they lose a game and say, ‘We’ll get ’em tomorrow.’  So, Hurdle has turned that table for us.  If we do lose a game, we really just go in the showers, wash it off and get ready for the next day.”  My thoughts:  In our organizations, and in life, we are going to have setbacks.  We’ll lose our share of games.  When we do, we have a choice.  We can dwell on those losses or we can learn from them and move on.  Organizations that win, similar to teams that win, know how to deal with adversity.  They put the past behind them and look towards the next challenge.

Focus on these three things this week:
Show your team you believe in them to get them believing in themselves; keep a positive attitude; and don’t dwell on your losses, instead, shake them off and move on.

These ideas will help you get your organization moving toward that vision you’ve painted for your team.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


2 thoughts on “It Starts with Believing

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