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Business and Baseball

My two older boys, ages 9 and 10, are playing ‘kid pitch’ baseball this year. Believe it or not, when I asked them what position they wanted to play, they both said “Dad, I want to be the pitcher”.

Then we asked each player on the team what position they wanted to play and each and every player said “Pitcher”. On paper this is not strange, as this is the most glorified position in baseball. After all, they make the most money, get the most publicity (when they are good), and seem to have the biggest fan base.

The other coaches and I talked to our 13-man roster about how important every position is on the team and how every position contributes to the overall goal. We teach them that they all have to play together to win.

This conversation made me think of a business and all the “players” within a company. I bet if you asked most employees, “If I could give you a new position, what would it be?”, a popular responses would be, “I want to be the manager, the president, or the owner.”

I am not downplaying the pitcher, the manager, the president, or the owner positions, as they are still important. But isn’t the baseball team just like a company, where that every position is important?

  • Without Risk Managers – workers gets hurt and worker’s comp rates go through the roof.
  • Without Payroll Employees – we have anarchy because no one gets paid.
  • Without Tax Administrators – the IRS is knocking at the door (actually they don’t even knock, they just enter.)
  • Without Sales People – there are no new customers.
  • Without Benefits Administrators – no one has healthcare, 401K’s, or vision and dental insurance.
  • Without Wellness Coordinators – people miss out on learning to improve their health choices.
  • Without Human Resource Employees – you have a disheveled mess.

You get my point? Every business needs:

  • Right, center, and left fielders
  • Catchers and pitchers
  • First, second, and third basemen
  • Shortstops
  • Teammates on the bench ready to play
  • Fans
  • Beloved mascots
  • Coaches
  • Umpires

No team is successful without all of these positions working together towards a unified goal. Isn’t the same true in business? Whenever everyone works together—bringing their special talents and experiences with them—games are won, and businesses grow.

"Trend Following Little League Team," © 2012 Michael Covel, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

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