Too often leaders see themselves as the feature story. The star of the show. The reason that the fans came out to see the game. But real leaders see themselves as the pitcher at the Home Run Derby, delivering the pitches that allow the real stars of the game to shine.

If you think you are the feature story, then you are kidding yourself. Your days of being the star of the show are long gone once you take the step into leadership. And you need to recognize that.

Deliver Success

Think about the job of the pitcher at the Home Run Derby. These are normally pitching coaches, batting coaches, or in some special cases the batter’s father. Their job is to deliver pitches right to the sweet spot of the batter. To deliver pitches timed to maximize the batters opportunities to hit home runs during their time at the plate.

If the pitcher believed they were the star of the show they would be pitching like it was a game, making the hitter work for their pitches, using delay tactics and spin to ensure that the batter had the least chance of hitting a home run.

But they recognize their place on the field. They recognize that they are not the star of the show. They recognize that it is their job to lead the batter to a win. And they put aside their personal pride and work toward that goal.

In the Home Run Derby the pitcher and the batter are a team. They work together to an outcome. It is through cooperation and collaboration that they are successful. But at the end of the derby, it is the batter that gets all the glory. The pitcher is a footnote in the exercise. And that’s what makes them successful.

There is no such thing as a star pitcher in the Home Run Derby, only star players.

But those star players will never be successful without great pitching.

Leadership is like being that pitcher.

Delivering opportunity to your star players so that they can hit the home run.

Delivering opportunities at the right pace to maximize the outcome of the team in the time allowed.

Deliver success to the players on the team.

About Tim Empringham, MBA
Tim Empringham is a passionate advocate for Innovation in organizations of all sizes as a mechanism to drive growth, create uncontested market space, create new customer value, and drive efficiency into the internal organization. His focus is on disruption of thinking and markets through integrative thinking, structured Innovation frameworks, and leadership development of Innovation and Change leaders within the organization.

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