Play Ball!

Time began anew this week for baseball fans, with the arrival of Opening Day. While we may all “ooh” and “ahh” at feats of athleticism on the field, what happens off of it can be just as important in determining a season’s success. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools that will help you understand how managers can make or break a team, what businesses can learn from the big leagues and why having the most talented player doesn’t always guarantee a winning organization. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

There’s no “I” in team, but there is a “C”

“In a few years, the most predictable team will come back in fashion, the one that does research first, then passes the idea to engineering to develop, and then on to manufacturing to make. It’s like a baseball team. . . The great strength of baseball teams is you can concentrate.”— Peter F. Drucker, On the Profession of Management

  • What those in the corner office can learn from those on the diamond. Click here to read more.
  • Watch Joe Maciariello, the Drucker Institute’s academic director, discuss how the best managers nurture people’s strengths.

How to coach a comeback

“I just got back from four weeks of lecturing and consulting in Europe, and am elated and overjoyed at your performance. This is the greatest turnaround in baseball history—my congratulations and admiration.”— Peter F. Drucker to former Cleveland Indians President Peter Bavasi

What else can managers learn from baseball?

“One of my ablest friends is buying minority stakes in small companies within his industry. When I said it didn’t make sense, he said, ‘I’m buying farm teams. I’m putting my bright young people in these companies so they have their own commands.”— Peter F. Drucker, Classic Drucker

Why records aren’t only good for the record-breaker

“In sports we have long learned that the moment a new record is set every athlete all over the world acquires a new dimension of accomplishment.”— Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive

  • Why team leaders must raise the bar on and off the field. See page 92 here.
  • Listen to Lee Igel, a professor of sports business and management at NYU and founder of the Drucker Society of New York, discuss how having a great performer doesn’t always benefit the team.