03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Learning Leadership From the New York Yankees

I'm in ecstasy. My New York Yankees won the World Series. And they clinched it 9 minutes
before my birthday. I got the best birthday gift money can't buy. My happiness caused me to reflect about why I love the Yankees so much. The answer popped into my head - because of their leadership. Okay, I am a leadership fanatic, maybe not as much as a Yankee fanatic, but, I am obsessed with always looking at why and how people lead. Small businesses and corporations alike might consider looking at the success of the Yankees and ask the same questions.

So here's my assessment on why I believe the NY Yankee team, management, and yes, even, the ownership, show the following leadership abilities:

1. Passion - The New York Yankees have a passion for the game of baseball and for their own teammates. You can see it on their faces, in their enthusiasm and in the fun they have on the field. Their leader Joe Girardi shared a clear vision by choosing the #27 and wearing it boldly on his back for all to see the clear common goal - win the Yankees' 27th World Series. And so they achieved the goal set by the manager within 2 years of his taking on the job as manager.

2. Courage - The Yankees never give up. I'm not one for stats, but how many times have we watched the game and they were down. Suddenly they turned the score around in the last few innings, including a record number of walk off runs (9 in 2009).

3. Development of Self and Others - The Yankees are big on self-improvement. Derek Jeter's ability seemed to be down in 2008, but he worked hard and upped his own performance in 2009. Look at how A-Rod transformed himself from the weakest link psychologically a year ago to the complete player he is today - mind, body and spirit. The Yankees give their young players every opportunity to develop, sending them back to the farm team, working with the coaches and then finally giving them the chance to contribute, i.e. Phil Hughes.

4. Inclusiveness. The Yankee team is as diverse as it gets with players from all over the globe, who like each other and support each other. NY Yankees are from Panama, Venezuela, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. They are black, white, Asian and in between. They represent all of us and they appear to respect each other. The core four, Jeter, Posada, Rivera and Pettitte are the best of friends and the mutual admiration is evident when you see them together.

5. Communication - They listen to each other, they acknowledge each other for their contributions and they are sensitive to each others needs to be effective in their jobs.
You see it on the field and hear it in the post-game interviews.

I'm proud to be a New Yorker with a team that inspires me and New York's citizens. We can all learn from them. No wonder 2 million people came out in the cold to NY's financial district Nov. 6th to celebrate the Yankees winning the 2009 World Series. Hooray for leadership!