THE BLOG

Are You Willing to Strike Out?

05/30/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. That same year, he also broke the record for highest batting average.

There is a third record he broke that year that most people don't know about. In 1923, Babe Ruth struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball.

Babe Ruth was not afraid to strike out. And it was this fearlessness that contributed to his remarkable career. He was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season, a record he held for 34 years until Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961. He also held the lifetime total home run record of 714 for 39 years until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.

He held other records too. He had 1,33o career strike outs - a record he held for 29 years until it was broken by none other than the great Mickey Mantle.

Most people want to hit home runs, the problem is they are afraid to fail in order to get there. As Babe Ruth proved, you can't have one without the other. It's perfectly fine to be a good, solid player who doesn't go down swinging that often...but it also means you won't hit that many home runs. Those players are needed on a team - they are the consistent and reliable players.

However...

If you want to swing for the fences, you have to be willing to strikeout.

Simon Sinek teaches leaders and companies how to inspire people. The author of the book Start With Why, he works with the military, politicians, government, entrepreneurs and not-for-profits. For more, visit startwithwhy.com or follow him on twitter @simonsinek.