Taking a Cue From Bochy: Experts Point Out What Business Can Learn From Baseball

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

In the Tuesday, October 30,2012 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, Net Worth reporter Kathleen Pender takes a look at the world class management style of Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants:

What can managers in business learn from San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who led two very different teams to World Series championships in three years? I asked a variety of management professors, consultants and managers themselves that question. Their answers focused on his communication skills, humility, confidence and ability to manage away from a superstar mentality. Here's what they had to say: 

Chester Spell, an associate professor of management at San Jose State University, says Bochy epitomizes what management consultant Jim Collins calls a "level-five leader," someone who can transform a company from good to great through a "paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will." 

In a Harvard Business Review article, Collins says a level-five leader demonstrates compelling modesty, shuns public adulation and is never boastful. He acts with quiet, calm determination and relies on inspired standards, not inspiring charisma, to motivate. He looks in the mirror to apportion responsibility for poor results and looks out the window - to other people, external factors and good luck - to apportion credit for the company's success. He also "demonstrates an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult."

Spell, who has studied demographic diversity in baseball, says the most successful team managers are also able to "dampen or handle any harmful effects of having a lot of differences between players on a team." This includes differences in race, national origin and age. "Diversity is a good thing, but it's a complicated thing," Spell says. Bochy's team this year included five players from Venezuela, three from the Dominican Republic and two from Puerto Rico, and ranged in age from 22 to 39.

When you have such diversity, in baseball or business, "divisions are very apparent. Some call then fault lines," and they can do more harm than most people realize. "A good manager can actually manage these divisions and focus on what brings them together and help them work as a unit," Spell says.

To read more, please go to http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/What-business-can-learn-from-Bruce-Bochy-3991592.php

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