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A quick CEO lesson from Captain Jeter

Posted: September 26th, 2014 | No Comments »

 

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I don’t really follow professional sports.  I like college sports better because they make a lot more crazy unexpected mistakes and the game is much more exciting.  And I went to Michigan, so go blue.

But there was a great article in the New York Times about Derek Jeter, and how people try to chat with him when they’re on second base (apparently he’s a second baseman).   The article talked about how, while not chatty to press, he is very chatty with other players while he stands around second base.  He must be aware at this point about how his stature affects other ball players, but he works hard to make them feel comfortable and give them encouragement.  He uses words like “I’m proud of you guys” which shows he understands the role he can play as a captain.

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What’s interesting is that the encouragement is not limited to his own teammates, but to the opposing team’s players who happen to have made it to second base.  I found that a strikingly simple concept that can often be overlooked by CEOs.  You need to focus not just those who are directly dependent upon you (your team).  You also need to focus on the success of others to make the game great.  That can extend to people who are not on your team, and whose success does not directly bear on your own.   That level of self-confidence, and long-term outlook to improve baseball is demonstrated by Jeter subtly, and without fanfare.  Yet it makes a tremendous impact that leaves a lasting improvement on the game as a whole.  I draw similarities to female CEOs who need to support other women CEOs publicly and privately.  We all need encouragement and support, but to get it from industry captains and each other would be priceless.


“You can’t count on the girl.”

Posted: September 19th, 2014 | No Comments »


Starting back up.  Those of you that like annual posts, my blog should be at the top of the list.

LIRR_M-7_EMU_InteriorA 49ers announcer got suspended today for making <<cringe>> insensitive remarks about the whole Ray Rice debacle.  I cringe because I know if it’s only insensitive, as opposed to outright racist or sexist, there is going to be a whole bunch of eye rolling by people who think everyone is overreacting.  Anyway, this guy apparently said that Ray’s wife not reporting the abuse, “is the saddest part of it.”  Okay, clearly, that is hardly the saddest part of it.  I’d say getting cold-cocked in the head by your husband was the saddest part of it.

But, never fear, a super hero emerged on the train yesterday.  He restored my faith that not everyone thinks one-inch deeply prior to speaking.

SCENE:  One guy and one superhero behind me, heavy Long Island accents, sound early 40’s.  I am bracing for the conversation as it turns to Ray Rice.

Guy One:  Dude, what about that Ray Rice thing?

Guy Two:  I didn’t see the video, man.

One:  I saw it, I saw it.  I mean, dude, I just have to say, if you were going to hit your wife…not that you ever would hit your wife…but if you found that you hit your wife, and she’s laying on the floor cause you lost your mind for a second and hit her.  Wouldn’t the first thing you think be, “WHAT IN THE HELL DID I DO??”  I mean wouldn’t you be like, “OH MY GOD I CAN”T BELIEVE I HIT HER!”.   [starts laughing]

Two:  I guess so.

One:   Not this guy, not Rice, man.  He was throwing her out of the elevator like a sack o’ potatoes, man.  I mean I would be like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT” and there he is all dragging her around the elevator, throwin’ her around.  Some other guy came and helped her.  [Laughing]

[Now, here’s the great part:]

One:    You know, you can’t count on the girl, man.  You just can’t count on her.

[I grip the armrest a little tighter…waiting for the inevitable misogyny…]

Two: What?

One:  Now you can’t count on her now, man, to tell people what happened and all.  I mean there are all these reasons she couldn’t’ve said nothin.  She coulda been scared, or he coulda told her not to say anything.  I mean you have no idea what is going on with her.  You just can’t count on the girl to say somethin’ about that stuff.

 

Here’s what I love about the guy behind me.  He said what others have been trying to say, but in his authentic, macho kinda way.  He said his very unsexist thing in a kind of sexist way.  He somehow understood the complex dynamics behind abuse, or at least appreciated that they might exist.  He then slipped it in kind of in an insulting way, like she’s weak or incapable, but it was a way that was totally digestible to the other guy.   The other guy agreed, and there it was…victim blaming quashed, one man at a time.

Guy behind me on the train, I salute you.

 

 

 


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