“There is an epidemic failure within the game to understand what is really happening. And this leads people who run Major League Baseball teams to misjudge their players and mismanage their teams. Baseball thinking is medieval. They are asking all the wrong questions. And if I say it to anybody, I'm-I'm ostracized. I'm-I'm-I'm a leper. So that's why I'm-I'm cagey about this with you. That's why I... I respect you, Mr. Beane, and if you want full disclosure, I think it's a good thing that you got Damon off your payroll. I think it opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities.”
Peter Brand to Billy Beane in “Moneyball”
Billy Beane, General Manager for the Oakland A’s, thinks his world is coming to an end. His best player, Johnny Damon, has been purchased by a team with a bigger checkbook. In a world where success is defined by the superstars you employ, he has just lost his biggest chip in the game. There is no way to bridge where he is at to where he wants to be.
But Peter Brand, Yale educated economist and mathematician (but with very little baseball experience) seems to have figured out a solution. Instead of the fear and overwhelm Billy Beane seams to be operating under, Peter sees “all kinds of interesting possibilities”. Peter & Billy’s contrarian philosophy took the team with the second lowest payroll and helped them to the second best record in baseball.
It took an outsider to the game to see a different way and the clear solution that they were unable to see on their own.
I think of that scene often when I am talking to business owners. As the old saying goes, it is kind of hard to see the forest with all of those trees in the way. The reality is, despite…
- how thick and impassible the forest may seem
- the fact that there are rivers and other obstacles that seem
- like they can’t be crossed
…there is a way through. We can elevate above the thicket, find solutions to our problems, and define a simple path forward to get us to where we want to go.
First, you have to identify that you have a problem. Things are not the way you would like them.
Secondly, you have to be ready and willing to do something about it…honestly want to address the problem. Many of us don’t like the way things are, but very few seem really interested in changing the situation.
Finally, you need to be open to someone else helping identify the problems and coach you toward the not so obvious solutions.
Unfortunately, most of us are unable to understand what is really happening and are often asking the wrong questions. As a result, we are trying to address the wrong problems. The good news is that problems can be identified, solutions can be crafted, and newly inspired futures can be found. There is a bridge from here to over there.
I promise. I watch it happen all the time.
- Are you tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed?
- Are you clear on what your problems are?
- Are you really interested in solving the problems you are facing?
- How open to you are having someone else identify and solve your problems?