Joe Paterno? Nah, although he likely made a mistake or two in his time, the subject of my exploration today is Joe Girardi, Manager of the New York Yankees. What, you think my leader research is limited to those in business? Au contraire. At Ki Visions, we examine leadership where we find it. I don’t “Monday morning quarterback” – on this I ask you to trust me. Prior to the game this past Monday evening, when I heard the strategy the Yankee manager planned to employ against the Phillies, I told some close confidants, “He’s making a mistake. He’s thinking about winning the next battle and losing site of the ultimate goal – winning the war.” (Although I hesitate to use military terms to describe the strategy employed in a mere game, especially during times when our young, brave troops are in harm’s way, they are clearly the most recognizable terms for the readers of this blog.)
The situation reminds me of a parable. The source of the parable is difficult to determine but I believe it stems from the work of Sun Tzu, the famous, ancient author of “The Art of War”; a masterpiece of which I have become a lifelong student. The parable asks the student to determine how to respond to a challenge from the owner of 3 strong stallions. The owner suggests three separate races: one each between his best, second best, and finally, third best stallion against three of your horses. When sizing up the competition, you determine that each of his horses is slightly better than each of your top three. But our young student devises a plan to win the war recognizing he might lose one of the battles. I challenge you to solve this dilemma and let me know your strategy; either by responding to this blog, calling the show on Saturday: 814-272-9700, or sending me a note: email@example.com .
The answer is close to what I believe Joe should have done. He could have given both his #2 star: A.J. Burnett and his #3 star: Andy Pettite, another day of rest and been fully prepared for the battles to take place with the added benefit of “home field advantage”.
Whether or not Joe is still capable of winning the war remains to be seen. I know I would have made a different decision.
At Ki Visions, we help good people become great leaders by helping them unlock and engage the entrepreneurial spirit. R eady to take the journey? Visit our website: www.kivisions.com
Ken Pasch, CHE, CLdrC
Your Leader/Business Growth Coach