Winning and the Yankees
Anita Sharpe on Business
Many decades ago, my dad was offered a spot on a Boston Red Sox farm team. While he opted to go to college instead, I've always had a warm spot in my heart for the Sox and rooted for them to make it to the World Series.
Despite that, I admire the Yankees more than just about any team in sports. Season after season, they are winners even when they lose.
A few days ago, I heard Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter speak about her new book, Confidence , which explores winning and losing streaks. 'Even winners lose,' she notes. But she found that companies and sports teams with a strong year-after-year culture of winning share at least three qualities:
Winners are accountable. 'People take responsibility,' she says.\n\nWinners cooperate with one another. 'On a winning team, it's about the team, not about stars,' says Kanter.\n\nWinners take initiative. Losers exhibit 'learned helplessness,' blame external factors and believe they can't really do much to change things.\n\nI thought about this as I was reading the New York Times story today about what went wrong with the Yankees. They were accountable: each team member that made mistake owned up to it. It was a team loss: as General Manager Brian Cashman summed up: 'there was a collective breakdown on the team the last four games.' \n\nAnd I feel certain that lack of initiative isn't going to be a factor for the Yanks. As Kanter notes in her book, the Yankee spring training camp in Florida has a sign above the whirlpool that says: 'Games are never won in the whirlpool.'\n\n\n\n