By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.” – Hank Aaron.
With the MLB playoffs upon us, I am reflecting on the many lessons baseball can teach us.
Baseball has been an important tradition for my family. I have fond memories of season-ticket seats right behind home plate at Houston’s Minute Maid Park as we cheered on our team. Both my sons played baseball at the Little League level and beyond, and they took so much of what they learned from the sport into the world, using the lessons to their great advantage.
Baseball pitches us so many universal life lessons, one of the many reasons the game is interesting, exciting, and even magical. Faced with the recent challenges and changes in the employment field, you can use many of these lessons to hit the ball out of the park in your life and career.
1. Be Accountable.
It’s refreshing to hear players take responsibility for what might have happened on the field. Mistakes happen both on the field and in life, and making excuses won’t help. Those who are willing to take responsibility for what went wrong in the past and take steps to learn from those mistakes will grow and progress. One of the biggest complaints I hear from companies concerns job candidates who talk about how a supervisor, coworker, or even a family member held them back. Instead of focusing on what might have hindered you, consider what you have learned from such a situation and how you have grown because of it.
2. Be Resilient.
No matter how bad their final score might have been in the previous game, most teams seem to enter each game with determination and pride. Such attitudes are critical in the New Work World and beyond. Even if you were downsized, passed over for a promotion, or ghosted by a friend, keep your attitude resilient and strong. Always maintain your poise. Prepare and focus on the next event. It serves no one to live your life looking in the rearview mirror. Instead, focus on your next activity with determination, excitement, and pride.
3. Never Give Up.
A baseball game does not end until the third out of the final inning. No matter what the scoreboard says throughout a game, as long as a team hasn’t given up, it is not defeated until the game is over. The same is true in the game of life. If your industry is in decline, or your skill set is not in demand, or you’ve lost friends, do not give up. Instead, work with a mentor or career consultant so you can honestly present your background in a way that better attracts new work. Join a club or Meetup group to expand your social circle. Invite a neighbor for coffee. These game plans might just be what you need to pull into the lead.
4. Focus on Mindset, Not Outcomes.
No baseball team has ever made it through an entire season undefeated. Some have better win-loss ratios than others, but every team eventually loses. Because of this, strong teams focus on mindset, not outcomes, allowing them to win again after a loss. Your attitude can lay the foundation for your future success. Your effort, commitment, and approach to the game are yours to control. Play enthusiastically, and don’t let negative situations prevent you from turning them to your advantage. In the New Work World, in particular, a positive mindset might even be more important for filling a role than directly related experience.
A baseball team perseveres throughout each game, its members playing their best no matter what the scoreboard or season record might say. You, too, must set out to do your best within your circumstances, putting all your talents and attributes to use. A winning attitude will take you far. With resilience, determination, and a positive outlook, you can push forward and win.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.