Coaching and Mentoring Employee Advancement with Baseball Analogies
I am a big baseball fan … I have been all my life. It is only natural then when I coach and mentor employee advancement, I like to use simple analogies of the career advancement of baseball players (ones that you don’t have to be a baseball player or fan to understand).
Here are 5 stories I use in this regard:
Many skill jumps
There are many skill jumps necessary for a player to move from little league to high school to college through the minor leagues finally to make it as a major leaguer. Only the very talented few actually make it all the way. Obviously each step requires more talent and more success, and many are left behind at each step. It is no different in the business world … with success being the primary measure of talent.
Some luck involved
There is always some luck involved in terms of openings, their timing, and who is the available competition. Baseball followers can always name a player who got their opportunity when someone in the current line-up went down with an injury. Whether in business or on the ball field, you need to be always prepared to seize your opportunity.
Move to new teams to gain the opportunity
Often ballplayers need to move to new teams to gain their opportunity, particularly when there is an overabundance of competition where they are currently playing. It is exactly the same in the business world … you have to be prepared to read the current situation, take risks, and make a change, as you deem necessary.
Special attention to the development and retention of the best talent
Great teams always find a way to pay special attention to the development and retention of their best talent just as the best businesses do.
On many occasions players in the minors keep playing though they know they probably will not advance in the minors further … they just love doing what they do. Business people often have to decide how much they really love what they do or find other opportunities in new areas.
Two kinds of ballplayers aren’t worth a damn:
- One that never does what he is told …
- And one who does nothing except what he’s told.
- Bum Phillips
Many good examples of employee development from these stories, don’t you think?