“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.” — Thomas J. Watson, Jr
Growing up, my favorite sport was baseball. I was actually pretty good. I never hit for an extremely high average and I struck out a lot, but I also remember driving in some game winning runs to beat some pretty good teams.
You see, I was taught early in baseball that without swinging the bat, you’ll never get a hit. You may luck up and get walked, but you’re going to strike out a lot just standing there and watching the ball go by. The more baseball I played, the more I adopted the strategy that swinging the bat was better than watching the ball go by (maybe I bought into that a little too much).
As I’ve began leading peers and leading projects and people, I’ve come to find out that the same strategy applies…
If we never push the normal, we’ll never do anything great or lead people to do great things.
Sure, we can sit, play it safe, and do the same ole same ole and probably keep a job, but we won’t be remembered. We’ll just be another number and the status quo.
If we are bold and take a chance here and there and push the norm, we’ll definitely fail… we’ll strike out from time to time… we’ll look stupid heading back to the bench. But, we’ll also get a few game winners and celebrate with our team at home plate. We’ll accomplish so much more than a walk here or there, than if we just get by.
Swing for the fences.
Be smart? Sure.
Be respectful? Definitely.
Be aware of your culture and surroundings? You better.
Be comfortable? Not always.
You gotta get the bat off your shoulder.
Do you see this principle at work too? What do you need to take a swing at in your current role? Discuss in the comments.