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Cal Baseball Coach on Team Culture; Great Business Lesson

Our excellent office manager recently reminded me that she shares the below blog on “teamwork” with all new employees as part of her on-boarding process. B/c extreme teamwork is the absolute life-blood of JVM and most businesses, we thought the blog was worth repeating.

A close friend has a son who was a top baseball recruit with the option to play for some of the best colleges in the country. One school stood out as his favorite and it was b/c of the coach’s message.

When he visited Cal with about 50 other kids, the coach spoke to all of them in a very poignant manner. The coach did not say: “we’re #1,” or “we’re ranked highly,” or “we’re going places…” He didn’t focus on practice, discipline or skill either. The coach simply said this:

“If you do not understand how to be a great teammate, we do not want you at this school; if you understand how to take care of others, and pick them up when they fail, this is the right place for you.”

The coach went on with examples. If the shortstop overthrows the first baseman, the first baseman is expected to do all he can to run down the ball to save the play; the first baseman will never say anything negative about the shortstop’s throw. The first baseman’s only job is to support the shortstop irrespective of the quality of the play. The same thing holds true if a pitcher gets shelled, or if a batter is in an extended slump.

The team’s entire culture is only about supporting others. This results in less pressure, less animosity, and everyone ultimately performing at a higher level.

We love this story so much b/c it is so applicable to business. There are many hand-offs that take place in a successful business, and if every associate does not back each other up in the same manner that Cal baseball players do, the business’s culture and level of service will collapse (we actually experienced this at JVM a few years ago).

I should add that we have numerous Realtors who also very much understand the need for a strong “teammate-culture,” and it results in a much more effective working relationship b/c we end up supporting and appreciating each other so much.

At JVM, we take immense pride in our teammate culture, and we greatly benefit from it.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646