Our colleagues in Maine are celebrating the World Championship after the Boston Red Sox won the Major League Baseball World Series last night.
Step in to any restaurant in Maine during baseball season, you will find the Red Sox on the TV and every local eye following the progress.
If you don’t follow baseball, you aren’t aware that Boston was one of the worst teams in the major leagues last year. They fired the manager, rebuilt the roster and reestablished themselves as one of the best teams.
The papers will be full of stories describing the great turnaround. If you study team development it will be interesting reading.
Let me share a few insights I gleaned:
- In rebuilding their team they valued character more than talent.
Boston is a rich franchise and can afford to pay a lot of money for players. Last year the team was filled with high-paid players and there was no character.
This year, the team shifted. They traded away some expensive players and went to locate quality guys who were good teammates. The new players put the team first. They shared the spotlight. They worked hard at practice. The outcome was “chemistry” formed which made them tougher to beat and resilient in the face of adversity.
- The team closely identified with their customers.
Most of you are aware that a bomb was set off at the Boston Marathon. The result was a shocked and devastated community that quickly identified with the slogan “Boston Strong.” Every person in the region vowed to get better because of the tragedy rather than be cowed by it.
The Red Sox became the summer inspiration and model for being “Boston Strong.” The more the fans responded, the greater they played. The greater they played, the more the inspired crowd cheered.
Inspiration and character can combine for extraordinary results.