What Can We Learn from the Red Sox?

The road to redemption and a World Championship for the Sox provides some lessons applicable to business. As Boston celebrates the win, the first lesson is that winning is fun. Being on a winning team builds morale; it keeps staff motivated and creates a positive environment. Winning organizations have less bickering, they act more cohesively. Employees believe in each other. When they enter the field of competition they believe they will win and that good things will happen.

Winning organizations focus on revenue growth. Like the Red Sox, that growth is fueled by fan support. In our competitive environment you need loyal fans and vocal promoters. While at times a focus on cost containment is required, it isn’t fun, and you can’t cut your way to long-term success.

The second lesson is you need to have the right team. The Sox recognized that the team they had last year was not going to win. They traded three superstars for some minor league players and salary relief. The money they saved on those players provided the resources to build a winning team. They had a vision of the type of player they wanted. They looked for players who had won in the past, who could work in their organization, and who would contribute to good chemistry.

A successful business must be focused on having the right team. Sometimes that means moving on from superstars of the past. Finding the right players requires a vision, planning, and making the right moves. Most businesses should spend more time on recruiting and building a winning team.

The third lesson is to play with urgency. You never know when you might be at this point again. You want a team that will leave it all on the field. A team that has clear goals and that understands what is important. Focusing on what is important leads to winning.

As Red Sox nation celebrates another championship business leaders should pause to see how they can create a winning organization, how they can build the right team, and instill a sense of urgency.

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