This week, the baseball world lost an all-time great, and from everything I’ve heard and read over the years, the world lost a great guy. Tony Gwynn was without doubt one of the greatest hitters ever, and while this quotation is about baseball, I think there are larger lessons for us about life.
– What two things would you want people to remember about your work?
– How does Gwynn’s advice apply to your life?
– How might your work (and success be different if you followed Gwynn’s advice personally?
1. Apply this advice in your life and work more, starting today.
2. Decide to play (work) hard.
3. Decide to have more fun.
4. Then do more than decide, go out and do it.
I’ve long been a proponent of the idea of making your work more like play. I believe Tony would have agreed. We must put his quotation in context. His work was a game, so he would logically say “play” hard, as opposed to “work” hard. Yet all that I have read about “Mr. Padre” since his death earlier this week was that he worked very hard at his game. He took more batting practice than most. He worked with a pitching machine at different speeds. He practiced hitting balls to specific places, and he was an early pioneer in using video to study pitchers, as well as his own swing.
There is no doubt he worked hard, and a .338 lifetime batting average and a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame proves his success at his profession. This isn’t the first time you have heard the admonishment or seen and example of the benefits of working hard. The purpose for sharing this quotation is the combination of working (playing) hard and having fun.
Could Gwynn have been as successful as long as he was if he didn’t enjoy his work?
Personally, I doubt it.
Some will say that finding the work you love should be your goal, but most of those people leave out the “work hard” part of the picture. Some say “work hard” and leave out the love and the fun. I believe Gwynn got it right. It is the combination of those two things together that lead to ultimate success, judged from any direction.
I urge you to think about how you can apply these thoughts and how you as a leader can help coach your team to do the same.