As a boy growing up in Baltimore and cheering for the Baltimore Orioles major league baseball team, I learned at an early age not to like the New York Yankees. And at the risk of alienating some of my readers, I have to say I still don’t care too much for the Yankees. I know much of it is based on jealousy – they’ve just been so good for so many years – but most of it is the result of a healthy rivalry between the Orioles and the Yankees. Thankfully, this year that rivalry was renewed as the Orioles once again were able to compete with the powerful Yankees, and in fact, won the challenging American League East Division.
But it’s with pleasure that I write today about one of the greatest Yankees of them all, Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter has been the starting shortstop for the Yankees for 20 years. During that time, he has been the consummate professional. He worked hard; he produced results; he remained calm and poised, even in the intense scrutiny that comes with playing in New York; he supported his teammates; he appreciated the fans; and he remained humble despite tremendous success.
In his 20 seasons with the Yankees, Derek Jeter led the team to five World Series Championships. During this time, he became the Yankees all-time leader in hits, doubles, games played, stolen bases, and at bats. Jeter became just the 28th player in history to collect 3,000 hits and his 3,465 hits rank sixth all-time and first all-time among shortstops. Remarkably, Jeter’s average during World Series Games was an impressive .321, and shows how well he handled the pressure of the “big” games.
Derek Jeter was professionalism personified. He showed up every day and worked hard, playing less than 148 games (of a 162 game season) only three times in his career. He was a great teammate, always caring more about winning championships than personal accolades. He was a leader to his team, nicknamed “captain,” and earning the title of team captain for his last 11 seasons with the Yankees. He was respected by teammates, fans, and opponents. But also, and perhaps most importantly, Jeter gave back to the community. He was committed to service and was involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors.
As leaders, we can learn some important lessons from Derek Jeter:
Success only comes after hard work.
Show up every day and be the best you can be.
It’s not about you; it’s about the team and building championship organizations.
Respect others and they’ll respect you.
Humility is more endearing than arrogance.
Support and serve the community that helps your organization succeed.
These are great lessons from a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. Work on these things this week and you will be on your way to becoming a Hall of Fame leader!
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.