Friday, January 30, 2009
Leadership lessons (1)
Today, I was working out and talking with a strength and fitness coach, Brian Lebo, about baseball. Brian played baseball at Youngstown State. When we were young, we found out that we both devoured a book, The Science of Hitting, on hitting a baseball written by Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer.
In the book, Williams talks about being selective - choosing a ball in your zone to hit.
He wrote, "My first rule of hitting was to get a good ball to hit. I learned down to percentage points where those good balls were. The box shows my particular preferences, from what I considered my “happy zone” - where I could hit .400 or better - to the low outside corner - where the most I could hope to bat was .230. Only when the situation demands it should a hitter go for the low-percentage pitch.
"Since some players are better high-ball hitters than low-ball hitters, or better outside than in; each batter should work out his own set of percentages. But more important, each should learn the strike zone, because once pitchers find a batter is going to swing at bad pitches he will get nothing else."
The discussion about Ted Williams and his book made me think about something I tell potential leaders, "You have to know your strengths. And lead from there. Be selective about the opportunities you take. Only take those opportunities that fit your passions and your gift-mix. It's the difference between being an OK as a leader and being exceptional as a leader. Only swing at a pitch in your "hot zone" to hit... unless you have two strikes. Then, protect the plate."
So, what's "the zone: for you? What are your strengths?