There’s a lot to be said about a leader who gains more enthusiasm and spirit from having an excellent team behind them. That’s exactly how Aaron Judge leads in his baseball career. He never gets too excited about personal accomplishments until those accomplishments reflect well on his team, driving their productivity and leading them to yet another win. Then it’s all smiles. Sure, deep down he may care about his statistics, breaking records, and being at the top. But I think we can all agree that things start to feel empty when you don’t do them with other people. When you build, lead, and nourish a team, you will start to watch them elevate and grow. Success becomes that much sweeter when everyone is involved and that’s what caring leadership is truly all about.
Caring Leadership is a Team Sport
I have said in the past and still believe that caring leadership is a team sport. I constantly lead with my heart and am a fast-moving person who is driven for success. But often that leaves me moving so fast that I outrun my own capabilities and have a hard time asking for help because it’s in my nature to want to control everything. Can you relate as you read this? When you have this type of leadership style, it becomes unproductive for both yourself and your team.
When I see people like Aaron Judge turn their leadership focus to the success of the whole team first, instead of the success he can create as an individual, I am reminded of how important it is to take the time to pause and release the need to control everything around you so that you can invite others in. That not only removes the burden from your shoulders, but allows you the opportunity to focus on the bigger picture. When this happens, your team will have an equal opportunity to show up and make a contribution towards that overall success.
Don’t Show Off
On the other hand, leaders who don’t allow their teams to participate will often have less productivity as a result. You may want to prove to yourself that you belong in a leadership position, but if you fully take over and run the show without developing the trust to delegate and empower, this won’t reflect well to your team. Your people don’t want to be robots, just completing orders and tasks day in and day out. Which is just going to develop the perfect storm and create a group of very unhappy employees. I strive to teach others the opposite of this type of leadership because although decreasing productivity is detrimental to your organization, reducing employee satisfaction will be even worse. You will begin to lose your best talent, your best ‘players,’ when you lead your team this way.
On the baseball field, there’s a different kind of ultimate goal to chase. Aaron Judge has driven his career to be a world champion with the New York Yankees. To accomplish that, he knows that he needs to be more than just an all-world baseball player. He needs to be a leader. In the eyes of his teammates, he already is because he consistently puts them first. Although sports leadership can differ from organizational leadership, the core skills to lead with heart remain the same. So you can definitely incorporate what it takes to be a world baseball champion and become, “World’s Best Boss.”