Spring is a time for rebirth, renewal, and revival. It’s the time of year when all things are made new, and outlooks are refreshed for the promise of tomorrow. It’s true no matter where you’re located, but on sunny baseball diamonds throughout Florida and Arizona, the promise of another chance to chase baseball glory brings hope to millions. It’s also a place where leaders rise – in the clubhouse, on the field, and in our daily lives.
They say the games don’t matter – they’re tune-ups to prepare the teams for the dog days of summer. Tell that to the kid that just signed his first professional contract or the veteran trying to hang on for one more year. Tell it to the guys trying to break into the big leagues or everyday players looking to take on a leadership role. Spring training stats don’t necessarily matter, but coaches are watching to see who can take the next step.
This is also true for us as leaders. Each day provides an opportunity to impact the lives of those around us. Players in Spring Training have about a month to show the coaching staff that they’re ready to lead on the big-league team. As leaders in business and in our communities, every day is an opportunity. And everyone around us is watching, even if the stepping stones aren’t as defined.
Opportunities to positively impact the world surround us if we start paying attention to the periphery. And they’re often found in the smallest, most menial, everyday tasks that we typically don’t think twice about. A smile for a stranger, taking time to ask team members how they feel about things or telling an employee that you appreciate all the work they’re doing. Ask them their name, connect on a personal level, or just stand and listen to them share.
As baseball beats back the cold of winter, it brings warmth and a playful enthusiasm that fills the air with joy. For those of us who eagerly await the boys and girls of summer, Spring Training is the first step of our yearly baseball journey. This time, use it as a personal metaphor – leaders rise. Are you vying for the big-league roster based on your improved leadership? Challenge yourself. There’s no better time than the spring.
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