Winning in Baseball and Business

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Want to field a winning team? These tips from a CEO and baseball fan can help you hit a grand slam.

Sports metaphors abound in the business world, and for good reason. There’s a lot of similarity between fielding a winning athletic team and creating a successful business. Both require a group of highly skilled individuals who understand their roles, work well together, adapt as needed to current conditions and do what it takes to outwit the competition.

Baseball, in particular, lends itself to such comparisons. For example, Dave Kerpen is many things: the chairman of Likeable Media, co-author of “Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver,” and a rabid baseball fan. In an article at Baseline, Kerpen couched nine tips for building a winning company in terms that only business and baseball fans could love.

Take these nine “innings” to heart and build a winning team.

Be the Sultan of Swat

When setting goals, aim high, think big and swing for the fences. You can always dial back your expectations if things don’t go as planned.

No Clean Uniforms 

Great players aren’t afraid to get their uniforms dirty. If you want to be a great leader, be willing to dive for the ball along with the rest of your team.

Track Your Stats

Did you see the movie, “Moneyball”? Top performers keep a sharp eye on the numbers that matter.

Fielding the Team

Yes, you want the best talent you can afford. But more important, you need to place the right players in the right position on the field.

Swing Batter, Batter, Swing

A swing-and-a-miss is far better than passively watching an opportunity go by without acting on it.

Here’s the Pitch

Stay focused on your target goal. Keeping your eye on the ball limits distractions and can help you reach your destination.

Drive It Up the Alley

When a player ropes one up the middle, he catches the opposition unaware. Pay attention to business markets no one else serves.

Handle the Curveballs

Markets shift, technology and trends change—often quickly. The best teams adapt just as quickly to win the game.

There is No ‘I’ in ‘Team’

Teams that gel win, whether they’re in sports or in business. Look for players that share common workplace ethics and values.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of Small Business Computing. Follow Lauren on Twitter.

Adapted from A Nine-Inning Guide to a Winning Career by Dennis McCafferty at Baseline MagazineFollow Baseline Magazine on Twitter.