It’s no doubt that the Boston Red Sox have been one of the most successful professional baseball teams in Major League Baseball. Since 2004 the Red Sox have been managed by Terry Francona, who has proven himself an exceptional team manager and leader.
Like in any sport, baseball teams don’t become successful overnight. It takes not just superb coaching and mentoring, but excellent and innovative leadership skills as well. Team managers develop a plan of action, implement it, and stick to it, making changes only if absolutely necessary. In this post I will focus on the leadership development program that Francona has used with his team, the Red Sox, in the years he has been managing and leading them.
On July 21st, Terry Francona sat down with Steve Pearlstein of On Leadership for an interview for The Washington Post. He discussed his take on leadership and what he believes creates success for his team.
Talent and luck are things that are important in any work setting, but they are certainly not everything. Francona realizes the importance of this statement and believes that there is much more to creating and maintaining effective leadership, which will create and maintain success itself.
He believes that in order to develop a successful organization there must be extraordinary communication and also the right kind of goal-setting. Moreover, he stands by the fact that the correct form of discipline is necessary to stand by what you say you’re going to do and actually do it.
Francona stresses that playing baseball is the easy part for these players; it’s how they develop leadership within themselves and continue to communicate on the same level that can prove tricky. He mentions different types of leaders within his team – the “natural born leaders” and the “up-and-coming leaders”. Players like Jason Varitek and Dustin Pedroia are proving themselves and stepping into these roles as leaders.
Terry Francona had this to say about baseball and communication: “I know how I feel about baseball. That’s the easy part. But communicating with people is what’s important.”
Guest Post from Adam, Not Your Ordinary Intern