This book is a great summer read: the hopes and challenges of Triple A baseball players are good reminders for good leaders.
My recommended summer reading today is also about baseball: John Feinstein is America’s most acclaimed sportswriter. His books, A Good Walk Spoiled (about professional golf) and Season on the Brink (about college basketball) are page-turners. Last year he published a fascinating portrait about human hope and persistence: Where Nobody Knows Your Name. It’s a dense and rich human melodrama about professional baseball players who are living and working one level below the major leagues. Every day they wake up with the hope they get called up by the owners of a Major League team to play at “Target Field.”
Even if you don’t like baseball – or sports – just reading the 15 page introduction will tickle your belief in the human spirit. The book follows the lives of 8 players and one umpire who are trying to make it to the big leagues. Baseball is a demanding path, even the best hitters fail 2 out of 3 times. Most pitchers lose more games than they win.
The richest part of the Triple A baseball experience is the intensity by which the players encourage one another. When the best players get “called up” to the major leagues…everyone celebrates their success, even though they just lost one of their best players. It’s because no one wants to stay just one level below the Major Leagues for very long. The temptation of fame and fortune is cruel. So they bond together to help each other stay positive and strong. It reminds me of Chapter 10 in our Good Leadership Today eBook. I wrote about the influence of my grandfather Hunter – advice echoed in an encounter with Harvey Mackay.
Good leaders make a habit of embracing the melodramas in the circus of every day living. And we bind together like baseball players who encourage each other to stay positive and focused on success in the big leagues.
Thank you for recent summer reading suggestions. Please keep sending me your favorites to pass along.