Lessons Your Company Can Learn from the World Champion Boston Red Sox
31 October 2013
It’s been an exciting two weeks for me. My daughter was born 13 days ago. My favorite sports team, the Boston Red Sox, just won the World Series. And now, I’m trying out polyphasic sleep, which I’ve been wanting to try for years, but never really had a good enough excuse.
Now that I have a newborn who naps about 10 times a day, I’ve found myself looking for the best way to keep up with her, stay on top of work, and somehow manage to get adequate sleep at the same time.
So as I’m sitting here at 4:10 am, watching my daughter sleep (precious!) and reading articles about the improbable Red Sox championship run, something struck me:
The Red Sox are basically a large company, with owners, managers, employees (from the players to the front office to the hot dog vendors), and millions of devoted customers (fans).
So I thought I’d dissect their organization and try to find out what core values they embody that make them a championship team.
We talk a lot about core values here at Exygy. Discovering and defining our organization’s core values has proven a really important and valuable process as we’ve grown over the past couple years.
If I had to define the Red Sox top 3 core values, I would list them as:
- Love of the game
- Love for each other
Love of the game: This can be translated to the love of one’s craft, or just “wanting to come to work every day”. The Red Sox general Manager, Ben Cherington, has done an amazing job putting together a team of players who love the game of baseball – starting with the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers at the end of last year where they unloaded several overpaid and underperforming players – and continuing in the offseason when they picked up key players such as Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Koji Uehara, David Ross and Mike Napoli.
Watching those guys play over the last few weeks during the playoffs and seeing how much they enjoy playing the game has been a tremendously rewarding experience.
Love for each other: Over and over during the post-game interviews, the Red Sox players voiced their love for their teammates, their fans, and the city of Boston. And I could tell just by watching the games that these guys really got along – they cheered for each other, picked each other up when someone made a mistake, and (my favorite) all grew beards and tugged on each others’ beards in celebration any time someone hit a home run or made a great play.
Unselfishness: There wasn’t a single player who looked to grab the spotlight. Even the best players who have been around the longest, David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, were quick to point out all the great plays their teammates made. There was a different hero in every game and this World Series championship was truly a team effort.
These are 3 world-champion-calibre core values that I believe would make any organization more successful.