- Matthew Bauer
9 Lessons I learned from Bruce Bochy and the Giants on Management and Teams
TLAY BALL! Today is opening day for the San Francisco Giants (1-0!) and I’m excited for another season of America's favorite pastime — only 160+ games to go, buckle up.
Reading the New York Times piece over the weekend, predicting the Chicago Cubs to take it all this year (with nary a mention of the Giants) and watching the Dodgers, Yankees and Nationals as examples over the past 8-10 years, these juggernauts of baseball have spent hundreds of millions, probably over a billion collectively, in pursuit of the final dance on the mound in October. And yet, it’s the humble Giants, never predicted to win, who have three World Series rings in the past six years. Just throwing a bunch of money at something doesn't guarantee anything – money can't buy love, a team or a championship ring.
Following each of the last six Giants seasons almost game to game, I have come to appreciate the ups and downs and incredible marathon that is the Major League season. And for the Giants to pull off what they've done, something else has to be going on, which makes it all even more interesting and begs the question, what can we learn from this great organization?
In the ego-driven world of sports and massive player salaries, what makes the modern San Francisco Giants so exceptional, fun and a team that people just want to cheer? They are the epitome of the power of WE versus ME.
Top 9 lessons:
Money can’t buy love, team chemistry or a championship ring
Stay humble and grounded - Bochy and the players never take individual credit, it’s all about the team
Focus on results, not the media - in each of their three recent championships, not one pundit predicted they would get close & halfway through each season, many local reporters had thrown in the towel already
Recruit and promote from within - the Giants are masterful at growing new talent from their farm team
Never throw your teammates under the bus - a consistent Giant team quality, you never see public infighting or comments about a bad play or game
Celebrate success - this team has fun, the fans have fun, it’s a great place to watch baseball
It’s a marathon, not a sprint - keep your eye on the prize and keep chipping away with base hits
Be patient and be ready as opportunities are everywhere
Never never never never give up - in the 2012 and ‘14 playoffs, the Giants came back from near impossible situations at least twice to go on and win it all
These are all proven and universal gems & things we all forget too easily, they take work, cultivation and creating a culture of excellence that is rooted and long term. Let us all be giant, and see you in the World Series in 7 months!