“It is support that sustains us on the journey we started.”— Marci Shimoff
A mini-drama was unfolding before me. It was a familiar scene, but I was noticing it in a new way.
We were at a baseball game for the first time in over a year, watching the home team the “Binghamton Rumble Ponies” play on a gorgeous Friday evening. It was a bit cloudy, there was a light breeze, and it was just the right temperature.
The home team’s pitcher was starting to struggle. The catcher stood up from behind the plate and let the umpire know he was taking a time-out. He walked out to the pitching mound to talk things over with the pitcher. Soon the rest of the team came in to join them on the mound for a mini-summit.
The mound visit is a method used to clarify communications between pitcher, catcher, and the rest of the team. It is also a way to support the pitcher and show that the whole team is rooting for his success.
That need for support should be obvious because for any team to win, everyone has to work together for success. However, I have seen that in many of my clients’ teams the team doesn’t seem to realize the need to support each other. In those situations, each team member is focused on their own “impossible” task. They don’t take their eyes off it to even notice if others are also struggling. Those teams, more often than not, fail.
Exceptional leaders create a culture where the metaphorical mound-visit happens without any intervention from the leader. When it is clear someone struggles with their part of the overall mission, the other team members will gather around. They will work together to figure out a strategy to help everyone be successful.
In our game, the mound visit broke up after the umpire told them to get back to playing baseball.
The pitcher struck out the next batter. A little support goes a long way.