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What You Can Learn from Baseball’s Great Experiment

The June 30, 2014 Sports Illustrated cover featured a photo of Houston Astros’ outfielder, George Springer. The headline, “Your 2017 World Series Champs: An Unprecedented Look at How a Franchise is Going Beyond ‘Moneyball‘ to Build the Next Big Thing…”

This was a bold proclamation by author, Ben Reiter, who called it Baseball’s Great Experiment. At the time his prediction seemed far-fetched if not outright ludicrous. After all, the Astros had just finished three straight seasons as the dwellers at the bottom of the standings.

What 1,000s of Teams in 20+ Countries Taught Me About Great Leaders

Regardless of role, industry, or geography, most of us work in teams throughout our careers. You have likely worked with colleagues who you truly enjoyed partnering with and others who you would prefer to avoid in the future.

This range of team experiences, emotions, and reactions makes perfect sense. Teams are made of people, and we all have the potential to be:

Twitter’s 280-Character Count Remind Leaders That Character Counts

I recently read that Twitter is expanding its longstanding 140-character limitation to 280. At least for a small group of people selected for the test.

Here’s what co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said about the decision.

“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!” – Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter

A Strategic Framework – Easy as PIE

Take a moment to reflect on your grand strategy for your team or organization.

Seriously, take just a moment to sit back and focus on what you plan to accomplish.

Arguably, that exercise has likely revealed that you are in one of three groups:

Group #1: You found this to be a fairly simple exercise as you have invested significant resources to create your plan. You have paid the price in time, energy, and intellectual bandwidth to create the plan. Congratulations. This is good news, but is likely destined for disappointment as you don’t have a process in place to execute the strategy.

Create a Culture of Contributors: Start Now

Waitress serving coffee from machine

Some time ago, I walked into a small, one of a kind, coffee shop. The place was clean and the coffee good, but what stuck with me was my conversation with the woman behind the counter.

As I approached the register, I was met with a pleasant smile and a kind, “Good morning, how may I help you today?” The handprinted name tag on her smock read “Helpful Helen”. As I watched her perform her duties, it became apparent to me that she was living up to her name…

How Leaders Can Remove The Blindfold & Avoid 4 Blind Spots

We all have blind spots. These are things that others know about you, but about which you are completely clueless. They can be small things…

  • A stain on your shirt that everyone sees – except you.
  • A conversation that you arrive late to and say something out of place. Everyone knows the arc of the discussion – except you.

How to Run Effective Team Meetings

MEI GroupLike you, I have been to (and led) my share of team meetings – some effective, others a colossal waste of time.

None are immune from the occasional poorly run gathering.

Want to improve?

Work to get team members to say 4 things.

1. “We go in there, do what we need to do, & finish.”

Losing focus costs time, money, & energy. Don’t let the conversation wander too far, feed personal agendas, or allow someone to hijack the discussion. If Monday is always a crazy day, avoid it. Pick a time that works best & protect it.

How Great Leaders ‘Set’ Themselves & Their Culture Up for Success

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great leaders. I’ve watched them interact with their people and observed the results they’ve achieved.

I’ve also noticed a pattern in how these leaders think and act.

This pattern seems to emerge regardless of leadership role, industry, or location: Here are a few quick examples: