About FireStarter

Was a bit tired yesterday getting on a late plane from Denver to Raleigh. Knew I wasn’t up for work and knew I shouldn’t sleep as I would not be able to sleep once I got home at midnight..went to the bookstore for something light. Found Driving Mister Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry and Baseball’s Greatest Gift. It fit the bill perfectly but there is more to it than an entertaining read. (For Yankee fans this is a must read). it has a few lessons on life and leadership I want to share with you.

First, the history. Yogi Berra played for the Yankees as catcher. Winning 10, YES TEN, World Series rings. He was also a 3-time league MVP. He went on to manage a few teams and was fired by George Steinbrenner prompting a falling out between the two men that caused Yogi to never set foot in Yankee stadium for fourteen years. now that is a man of principle. Steinbrenner, the Boss, was no shrinking violet but he allowed himself to be talked into flying to NY from FL just to see Yogi and to ask forgiveness for the poor way his firing was handled. Both men took  advantage of the opportunity and reconciled. How many times do people take a grudge to their grave or let it eat them up and let it push them into the grave? Great lesson there. saying I am sorry and accepting it when someone one says it to you.

When Yogi came back he started going to Spring Training. Evidently a number of old-timers do that to help out. Yogi loved it and he quickly found his voice as a mentor to some of the best in Yankee history. they revered him, his experience, and his wisdom.  They listened and learned. He gave them a sense of history too as he regaled them with stories of his Yankees. When Jeter won his fifth world series title Yogi reminded him that was half-way there. the lessons on mentoring and history are on every page and we would all do well to learn them. The Marines do a great job with legacy. We celebrate our birthday every November 11. How can your firm capitalize on the corporate knowledge of those about to retire, or even those who are retired. they have been there and done that and they see things and can offer insights. Why put them out to pasture?

Finally, the book is about friendship. in this case the one that bloomed between Ron Guidry and Yogi Berra when Yogi returned. they knew each other before but somehow they came to be best friends. A generation apart but sharing values on life and respect for the game. their unique give and take and good-natured ribbing is the stuff locker rooms and relationships are made of. We recognize the importance of creating these opportunities for connection at one of the corporate universities I support. the meals are as important as the content as they allow people to connect and build those cross company relationships that provide cohesion and strength for the company. I always enjoy seeing classmates sitting together at larger corporate meetings years later as I know they have been in touch and are connecting.

The book gave me alot more than I was looking for or expecting. I guess  alot like Yogi. Grace, Committment, Mentoring, Excellence, Generational Dynamics, Tradition, Winning and Friendship. Not bad for a “light” read.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 7:38 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

About FireStarter


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