Baseball Should Be 5 Innings with 2 Outs per Inning!


Baseball Should Be 5 Innings with 2 Outs per Inning!

We hear all sorts of opinions when executives come into the VIM Executive Coaching offices for leadership coaching. On this particular day, shortly after the start of spring training, an executive leader started our association with the statement about baseball. Not being an expert on baseball, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said that his plan might upset a lot of diehard fans.

He continued by saying, “I am a great believer in efficiency. You see what needs to be done and ‘Boom!’ do it and get over it.”

The light went on

After his second statement, I began to get a sense of who he was and frankly, why he was being pressured by many in his organization to leave by mutual agreement. He would admit, shortly after that first meeting, that his way of doing business by reacting to everything that came his way put a strain on his life. Though VIM Executive Coaching never purports to be “therapists,” the man admitted that his propensity toward reacting rather than holding his tongue and responding, did not make for a happy personal life.

When an executive leader reacts, whether in a corporation, association or even an entrepreneurial venture, it creates an unbalanced and uncomfortable environment whether in business or in life. When reaction is the rule of the day, the message most people don’t usually hear is neither “yes” nor “no,” what they hear is something much harsher. They hear: “I don’t care about your opinion, your ideas or your experience. You have no value.”

Therefore, when an executive is constantly reacting, he or she is conveying that they are closed down and there is nothing “you” can do to change their mind. It is a dangerous proposition for it removes value and it negates contribution.

Response is not dangerous

Some executives we have coached are almost afraid to allow the proposition of response because they feel it makes them weak. In fact, the opposite is true. There is great strength in allowing opinions and differing points-of-view. Actions taken on an amalgam of opinions and experiences create buy-in and usually, mutual respect.

The executive leadership is not weakened by allowing in other opinions and considerations. It is strengthened. Responsiveness does not mean weakness. The executive can still ultimately decide either for or against a proposition or proposal brought forward, but allowing for expression and responding and asking questions shows respect for those who have taken the time to do the work. It goes a long way and pays dividends.

The close-mindedness of an executive leader or entrepreneur is the opposite of authenticity. Yes, we know all too well the reaction of “I am being authentic when I flat out say no.” We would disagree. Many an overbearing leader has pounded the table and said NO! However, we would submit that many an overbearing leader has made tragic mistakes borne out of not considering alternate points-of-view. 

Response has never hurt any executive, reaction has.

Want to learn more about VIM Executive Coaching and our dynamic, highly effective coaching programs for executives and entrepreneurs? We would be happy to offer you a FREE, NO OBLIGATION coaching consultation! Please click on the link below.

Bruce Wolk