Theo Epstein is the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team. Most of you probably know that the Cubs just won the World Series, their first championship since 1908!
Prior to his job with the Cubs, Epstein was the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. In Boston, he also ended their long World Series drought, leading the team to their first championship since 1918.
So how does Theo Epstein do it? What is his secret to success? Tim Kurkjian from ESPN says that what makes Epstein so effective is his understanding of his own strengths and weaknesses and his willingness to delegate responsibility to others who are experts in the areas where Theo is weak. Epstein is very proficient at analyzing data and metrics. But having never played professional baseball, he knows that scouting talent is not his strength. So Epstein delegates this task to others on his team who are experts at identifying talent and potential.
Many leaders have a difficult time saying they don’t know something or admitting they have weaknesses in key areas. They believe, since they are leaders, they have to know everything. They are not secure enough to acknowledge their own deficiencies. These insecure leaders normally won’t hire people who are smarter than they are or who complement their weaknesses. As a result, the organization suffers because the best people are not added to the team.
Be a secure leader. Understand and acknowledge your weaknesses so that you surround yourself with people who complement you and who make the team better. Then give these people the freedom to do their jobs. This approach works for Theo Epstein and it allowed him to win World Series Championships with teams who hadn’t won in 86 and 108 years! This strategy works; and when you are secure enough to put it to use, you’ll have championship success like Theo Epstein!
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