Building a Winning Culture
Published: May 01, 2013
As many of you know, I like using sports metaphors for business and especially like using the New York Yankees. You may not know that the Yankees are one of the few teams in all of major league sports to not have a player’s name on the back of the jersey. The reason given over the years has been that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back.
The obvious message is that the team’s success is most important. If you follow baseball, you know that the prediction for the Yankees this year was that they would have a poor season and come in last in their division. The main reason was many injuries to star players and only one returning position player from last year in Robinson Cano. So the big stars like Jeter, A-Rod, Granderson and Texiera are all out. However, after the first month of the season they are having a great year. They are second in their division and would qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today.
They are doing it (winning) with guys by the name of Nunez, Hafner, Nix, Wells, Overbay and Cervelli (who broke his hand last week) – a bunch of guys who would not start on many teams. So what is going on?
I think it comes back to the name on the front of the jersey. The Yankees have a built a culture of winning and have put systems (the way they do things) in place that allow them to win, regardless of whether they have the best athletes. As leaders in our companies we have the same responsibility. We have to build a culture of success and get all of our players to play their best together.