Championships are for closers… and everyone else
Maybe the thought of a Game 7 on Halloween night in Fenway Park just freaked them out a little too much. More likely though, they all just wanted to don the goggles and the army helmets and spray the champagne. To work together and have fun. To get it done. To win. Good thing, too. On Facebook, people freaked when I posted, “It’s just not in the cards for the Cards tonight,” after the light-hitting Stephen Drew blasted a home run in the 4th inning. Red Sox fans are still a little jumpy about jinxes, I guess, but that unlikely home run was a dagger by Drew. The Red Sox won the World Series last night.
It’s still surreal that a team that finished dead last in their division last year, now are champions. I’ve already pondered the whole team chemistry thing, and after last night’s game, (Play)Joyce, an HR chick, texted me this:
“As I try to figure out how to help our org’s teams perform better, I can’t help but look to these Sox as a perfect case study… Can we bottle what they got?!”
Ah, that’s the thing. What is “it?” Well, besides great starting pitching… Yesterday, we had our operational review for the 2013 fiscal year that ended when October baseball began. A major portion of the day was our Sales VP’s, our closers, reviewing their respective team’s performances. For the most part, it was a tip of their caps as they rounded the bases of a very good to great year. Still, like Red Sox GM, Ben Cherington, and manager, John Farrell, they thanked the people who support them as they recruit and manage the talent. The services people, the marketing people, the sales ops people, the product people… For every standout like David Ortiz, John Lester, and closer, Koji Uehara, there are supporting role players like Johnny Gomes, David Ross, and Felix Doubront. They all contribute to winning. Also, when our Sales leaders described their rare losses during the “season,” they took responsibility: “We got outsold.”
So, from an organizational performance perspective, the winning formula for the Red Sox included great talent assessment and recruiting, support and recognition from management, and from each other across the organization, and people taking personal responsibility for their performance. That’s just my take as an outsider. On the inside, I think Red Sox closer Koji Uehara nailed this morning it when he tweeted:
Oh, and the fans. Everyone thanked the Red Sox fans. Without them, none of this happens. Same for Kronos. Without our fans, our customers, and a collective effort to provide them a great experience, none of this happens. So, that’s it.
“Baseball may be a religion full of magic cosmic truth in the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job…” – Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) in Bull Durham (1988) – Screenwriter Ron Shelton