I often use baseball references in my work and writing. Many of those who know me know I am a big New York Mets fan (after being a huge Yankee fan through age 18). All baseball fans know that the Mets have had a string of bad years. The new manager, a veteran manager, Terry Collins has a new approach for himself as well as the team. First off, though naturally intense, as a manager he wants to have fun, and for the players to have fun with each other, according to a recent interview in the New York Post by reporter Kevin Kernan.
Here’s his plan: bowling, communication, involving players and management together in their daily work life, giving the players a voice. The bowling (with bowling balls displaying the Mets logo) and pizza is meant to be fun and draw the team together.
Collins admits to doing a bad job managing the clubhouse in previous stints as a manager. But he thinks his communication skills have improved and his approach is changing. He told the coaches he wants them to have input into clubhouse life too and to have their lockers with the players. And he wants the players to have a voice in things. His formula for the players is preparation, self-discipline, maximum effort and a thoughtful process.
For the manager’s part, he promises communication and stability and spelling out expectations so that each player will know where he is playing and what he is expected to be doing.
He seems to have a grasp of management as Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill (not advising the Mets) defines it: it’s about interdependence and getting things done by working with and through others.
Collins is a Boomer managing Gen Xers and Gen Y/Millennials. My reading is that he is expressing humility, openness, challenge, approachability, collaboration, consistency, high expectations, confidence and ability to make decisions - which should be appealing.
For the Mets and other organizations that have been struggling with some dysfunction, this sounds like a good start. Whatever your team, what do you think of this approach? Is it a winning formula for success and fun?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot www.pdcounsel.com