Are You A Hall Of Fame Closer?

60506513_thbI love baseball and baseball stories.

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to understand this week’s Leadership Tip … but let me set the stage.

A professional baseball player by the name of Mariano Rivera is regarded as the ‘greatest closer’ of all time and will be retiring at the end of this season. He’s a sure bet to be inducted in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

A ‘closer’ is someone who enters the baseball game near the end to ‘close it up.’

Loosely translated … we are winning now and we don’t want the other team to score again. So the ‘closers’ job is to get the remaining batters out anyway possible.

The other night during the Major League Baseball All-Star game, Mariano Rivera was inserted in the game … and it struck me how special he really is.

If you missed it, try and find a replay from the time he entered the field of play until the time he left – it was awesome.

I won’t bore you with his unbelievable statistics and accomplishments, they are well documented … and I won’t draw attention to the fact that he has only one pitch … not two or three or four … but you can read more in this article.

I would however, like to turn his success into a learning moment for all of us.

I think given the pressure he is constantly under, he has to possess tremendous mental toughness and to achieve the competitive success he has for such an extended period of time, his preparation has to be extraordinary.

My leadership tip for you this week is to continue to develop your mental toughness and improve the quality of your preparation.

Mental toughness … think about the myriad of stressful situations you’re faced with almost every day. Your mental toughness and your ability to deal with these situations is critical to your organizations success and to your credibility as a leader. You need to learn to effectively evaluate these situations, ask the right questions and ultimately make the correct decision – every time!

Preparation takes work … it also takes time. You can’t solely rely on your experience anymore. The world is extremely competitive and you must constantly work at becoming better prepared in everything you do. The meetings you host, the conversations you have, the questions you ask, the people you hire, all of the ‘stuff’ that you do – everything!

Give this some thought … and I’ll leave you with this quote from American writer Elbert Hubbard, “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”

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