Leadership Lessons from the World Champion Washington Nationals
Consistency as a leader is much talked about but more difficult to live by. When building teams leaders champion principles like remaining positive, having each other’s backs, and learning from mistakes and most often they have every intention of living by these principles. Life, as they say, has a way of disrupting these intentions. Challenges such as trouble with a new product introduction, loss of a large contract, or new competitors chipping away at market share put pressure on leadership teams. Pressure which sometimes results in finger pointing, losing control of emotions, and hasty shifts in direction.
The best leadership teams are rooted in consistency in approach and behavior. A recent example of leadership consistency can be found in the Washington Nationals historic season (full disclosure that I am a raving NATS fan). The NATS 35-year-old first baseman credits the consistency that manager Davey Martinez instilled as a key to their success. After a dismal 19 and 31 start, Martinez told the team to ‘relax and remember the commitments they made to each other’ to start the season – ‘no finger pointing, stay positive, have fun and take one game at a time.’ Zimmerman has been through 8 managers in his 15-year career with the NATS and commented that every manager started with these same principles, but this was the first team that actually lived by them. Thank you to Davey and the NATS for making my year!!