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Who Gets a Championship Ring?

October 11, 2022

Playoff baseball is officially underway!

Last year was especially fun for me as a fan of the Atlanta Braves. Over the next few weeks, I’m sure I’ll spend too many nights staying up late to watch baseball. In early November, the 2022 World Series champion will be crowned. 

David Salyers is a friend and a mentor. He shared something with me recently that really got me thinking. David pointed out that for last years’ World Series run, the manager and coaches got championship rings. 

On the surface, that may not be surprising. But think about this: none of those coaches actually played the game. They didn’t pitch, they didn’t hit, they didn’t steal any bases. So, while the coaches didn’t play the game, they still received championship rings, and none of the players resented them for it. 

Not only did the players not begrudge their manager and coaches getting rings, players loved that their coaches were also rewarded for winning these championships. 

David pointed out that there were other crucial figures, involved in every single game of the season who were not rewarded with a championship ring. Those individuals? The umpires. Their roles were important, but it’s no secret that their actions didn’t have the same impact on the players’ success as a coach or a manager.

Before we go any further, consider this question:

Are the leaders in your organization more like coaches or umpires?

How often do we go to our places of work, and the boss is more focused on calling what is “out of bounds,” but doesn’t offer actual coaching and development to help people be who they were created to be. In sports, this is obvious. In business, it’s easy to see your role as calling balls and strikes rather than expend the energy it takes to encourage, coach, develop, mentor, and help the players get better.

The umpires have an important job. We need people to enforce what is right and to make sure people play by the rules. Yet, I believe there is no shortage of umpires in your organization. Your team needs more coaches eager to help individuals succeed in their given roles for the good of your organization.  A coach’s role is to help the whole team get better. 

Here is my challenge to you (and me) today, see yourself as a coach and not an umpire or a referee. Spend more of your time helping your team members improve rather than simply pointing out what needs improvement.


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