"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." --Hank Aaron
The crowd roars in the background and stadium lights flood the field. The smell of freshly cut grass mingles with popcorn and hot dogs. An announcer calls out the first batter's name in muffled tones and eager anticipation fills the stands. The batter crosses in front of the dugout to home plate, accompanied by cheers as well as jeers. Wringing the bat in his hands, tightening his grip, he checks his stance, then settles his feet. He brings the bat back with the full intent of achieving his team's goal -- to win.
Everything up until the swing is planning. The actual crack as the bat makes contact with the ball is organization in action. This connection moves to action -- action which is motivation and direction. The run to first base paves the way for the next batter and moves the team forward, each act brought about by the organized plan. The coach sits and views all this with a watchful eye making adjustments as needed or encourages passionate play to continue. Direction is necessary to maintain organization and pursue victory.
Evaluating each play and each player is the job of the manager. Was that the right next step? Is he in the right position? The coach and manager must communicate and supervise. Sharing concerns with the team must be coordinated and constructive in order for it to have impact and value. Whether you are a sole proprietor, one-man department, part of a team, or managing the team, directing and leading from within -- the 360° Leader (Leading from Within) -- sees needs and defines action. Through example and motivation, goals are chased with zeal and are within grasp.
Leadership finds its way to the center, whatever role is held. The leader, the manager, the director, or the motivator are the lead-off batters, clearing a path and holding the torch, not only for visibility and clarity but to pass on when the time is right. The control of resources plus focus are imperative in the game -- keep your eye on the ball.
And players have to reach -- motivation pushes employees to reach. Don't wait for the ball to come to you, go to it. Meet it head on.
As the team moves through practices and takes the field for the big game, a level of trust must be in place. The relationships among employees, the amity held with employees or clients, hiring managers or job applicants, each must reflect the commitment brought to each game, each team. The game plan reveals the barriers early on, they are surmountable. The playing of the game displays shortcomings, they can be rectified. The desire to win, the direction taken to make it so, comes from within and it is achievable.
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