Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It is rare to find leaders who are consistent winners. Bobby Cox is one of those rare finds. He was instrumental in the Atlanta Braves winning 14 consecutive National League Division Series titles {excluding the MLB strike year of 1994]. Yogi Berra, one of my favorite baseball player’s and philosophers once said, “You can observe a lot by watching”. We can learn a lot from a leader like Bobby Cox.

Here’s what I observed by watching Bobby;

1-Nice guys make great leaders……Bobby was considered a player’s coach who always “went to bat” for his players. In doing so, he also won the distinction of being tossed out of more games than any other Manager in MLB history. I think it’s a good thing to want to protect your player’s and to want to take the heat and suffer the consequences for having taken that stance. It has been said that “nice guys never win”. Bobby has proven “them” wrong since according to most of his player’s, Bobby was a nice guy. And in being such, he was rewarded by extra effort from those who played for him. His teams benefited and they won.

2- Not everyone wants a boss, but who doesn’t want a coach…….No amount of abuse can make an ordinary employee/player into a terrific performer. Just because you carry the title of boss, doesn’t mean you have to be demeaning and act like you have all the answers to all of the questions. You can ask for and listen to the opinions of others and then make a decision because you have to, because you are the boss, and that’s what bosses must do. But in doing so, you can make a decision that is properly balanced on behalf of all key stakeholders and one that is in the best interest of the team.

3-If you believe in the people you lead, they will believe in you……If your employees are doing their best, always back them and let them know you believe in them. Bobby, in my opinion had one of his best years as Manager in his final year in 2010. After the team suffered several injuries to key players and everyone thought the season would become a total lost, Bobby and his team fought on throughout the season nearly overcoming the impossible to compete for the Division Series title right up until the very end.

4-Extraordinary leadership can inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things……On paper, Bobby didn’t always have what appeared to be the best team in the division. But their performance on the field left people scratching their heads since they performed beyond everyone’s wildest imagination.

5-If you look for the best in others, you will often find it…..Bobby was a positive person who brought others up, unlike many managers who are negative people who bring others down. He could see the good in most situations. He had remarkable fortitude to succeed and the proper amount of patience in order to see things “play out”. He was a great communicator who was friendly to everyone he came in contact with. And, his door was always open to his players, coaches and anyone else who needed to chat.

If we treat our employees like Bobby Cox treated his players, we too can be a treasure and be remembered as someone special. And be missed, just like him.

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