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Home > Blog > What Business Can Learn from Bobby Cox
Out of Our Minds
Thursday, September 30, 2004 10:25 AM
What Business Can Learn from Bobby Cox
Anita Sharpe on Business

Bobby Cox, manager of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, won his 2,000th game last night -- only the ninth major league manager in history to do so. This achievement followed the Braves winning their 13th consecutive division title this season, a record in professional sports. And both of these milestones came after the Braves traded many of their high-profile stars: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Gary Sheffield, to name just a few.

How did Cox do it and what can the rest of us learn from him? A few things:

1. Check your ego. Cox always credits his players when the team wins, not his coaching decisions. He never blames players (or himself) after an ugly loss -- and even the most talented teams always suffer a few ugly losses. As a result, the players love the guy and always go the extra mile for him.

2. Remember that your team consists of 'talent' and look for ways to make that talent shine in the field. Cox's management style is consistently more upbeat than critical.

3. Remember that the game is supposed to be fun.

Slugger Chipper Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today: 'Some spring trainings are like boot camp. Bobby lets his players play themselves into shape, and then we spend the next half of the day playing golf.'

Added Terry Pendleton: 'He doesn't have 18 million rules.'


Troy Worman - 10/2/2004 12:56:19 AM
In addition to the leadership traits Anita pointed out in her post, Bobby Cox embodies another very important quality--he is a genuine original. The best leaders are true to themselves.
kurt - 10/1/2004 7:39:21 PM
interesting word choice, ;)

The point is that a manager that can trade away talent and recognize new talent and win without a bunch of rules.....
that's amazing and rare. the most charismatic managers i've met, lead, and inspire the utmost in performance, without micromanging, or threatening.

real team work builds with lightweight process, attention to fundamentals, and personable accountability not a gagillion rules....




SYLLABICATION: con·ten·tion
NOUN: 1. The act or an instance of striving in controversy or debate. See synonyms at discord.
2. A striving to win in competition; rivalry: The teams met in fierce contention for first place.
3. An assertion put forward in argument.
Alex - 9/30/2004 11:51:12 AM
I'm of the contention that somtimes 18 million rules can be the way to go. Games have been won that way, right?
But what do I know? I haven't won 2000 games yet. Maybe if I bought some Cialis...


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