Will your team, customers, and competitors miss you?
Last night Derek Jeter took off his pinstriped home uniform for the last time as a player with the New York Yankees. His retirement is a huge loss to his teammates, his customers, his competitors, and the game itself. Of course, that was after he hit the game-winning, walk-off single in a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
That’s what Derek Jeter did for his team for 20 years. In pressure situations where others implode, he delivered, but it was not in an extraordinary way. His career statistics don’t show unusual performance in those “clutch” situations. He simply delivered consistently, regardless of the situation or pressure. Consistent performance is a desired quality for any employee, and it earned him the respect of teammates and opponents. The respect thing was mutual, too. He always treated customers, teammates, competitors, and the game with respect. I’m a Red Sox fan, and I love the guy. Hell, his middle name is “Sanderson!” Get it? Derek Sanderson? Not that I’ve never made fun of him…
In addition to the mutual respect and consistency he brought to work, his intelligence magnified his physical talents. Here’s an example. While some players may have the physical tools to execute this play, few have the presence of mind to be in a position to do it.
So as an employee and teammate, Derek Jeter provided the Yankees talent, intelligence, respect, and consistent performance, but that’s not what impresses me most. He was a star on the biggest stage, and could have simply gotten by on his talent and past accomplishments, but no. He was always willing to take risks, get dirty and do the work. To me, that elevates his greatness beyond statistical measurement. That’s about character and commitment to his team and their customers. And it’s about respecting himself. Again, as a Red Sox fan, and as a fan of a strong work ethic, here’s the one play that defines #2.
Derek Jeter’s co-workers, customers, and competitors will miss him dearly. What are you doing to make sure someday yours miss you?