2 Leadership Lessons from The Book The Cubs Way


Here are two leadership lessons from The Cubs Way by Tom Verducci.

Lesson 1 – Sometimes people are not on the right team

  • Some people are not in the right position at their current company. Is there another position in the company that meets their strengths, that they would enjoy more and you would have a more effective team member?
  • Some people are not in a cultural fit at their current company. If this is the case and they are unwilling to adapt to the culture it would be best to help them to find a company with a better cultural fit for them.
  • Some people would perform better at a different company in a position that better meets their talents and skills. If you don’t have a position for the team member that meets their talents and skills, allow them to seek a position elsewhere that does.

These are difficult situations. The best practice is to ensure that you have a hiring process that enables you to have a high degree of success in determining the new team member has the skills, talents and cultural fit for the position and your company.

Here are some examples of 2 Cub pitchers:

  • Jake Arrietta
    • Jake attended TCU
    • He was drafted in the 5th round by the Orioles
    • He had 4 different pitching coaches in 4 years with the Orioles
    • His record was 6-11 with 5.09 ERA in his last year with the Orioles
    • He had been demoted to minors and was thinking of giving up baseball
    • The Orioles had banned his best pitch, the cutter and had changed his natural throwing motion
    • He goes to the Cubs in 2013 and in 2015 wins the Cy Young award (The Top Pitcher of the Year Award in Major League Baseball)
    • In 2016, he was 22-6 in the regular season and was a key pitcher in the World Series Championship
  • Mike Montgomery
    • Mike was as a 1st round pick out of high school by the Kansas City Royals
    • He had been on his 4th team in 5 years
    • He was in Seattle. He had a career record 7-10 at the time the Cubs got him
    • He was a reliever in Seattle
    • The Cubs say him as a potential starter
    • His best pitch was the curve ball. He had thrown it 18% of the time with no hits against it in Seattle
    • The Cubs raised the percentage of the time he threw the curveball to 36%. Opposing teams had a .111 Batting average against the pitch in 2016
    • Mike went on to excel with the Cubs

Jake and Mike were not great a great fit on their previous teams, but they were an excellent fit for the Cubs.

Lesson 2 – It takes a good coach

Chris Bosio, the pitching coach for the Cubs allowed both pitchers to leverage their natural talents and abilities. He helped bring out the best in them. This is what a good coach does.

Do you have employees that might perform better in their different position in the company given their talents? Are there employees at other companies that you could coach in their “natural” talents and would perform better at your company?

For coaching on Strengths Themes to learn the natural strengths talents of your team members contact me at jgarrett@theascentperformancegroup.com

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