Excellence in business by Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr

30 07 2007

Today I got to accomplish a dream I’ve been planning for 15 years. See in 1992 I was looking for baseball players to invest in their cards. When I looked at stats I only had an idea of what they had accomplished in the past. I asked the question “what factor of each player would minmize my busting out on the investment? Much like Jim Collins write about in “Good to Great” that underlying principle that makes those companies so consistantly great.  So looked at each player character who they really are, what drives them and what values are important to them? It saved me a ton of money I stopped investing in the short term and started in the long term. They had to have hall of fame potential with a strong character after that I looked at how good they where when they stepped on the field.

I narrowed down to Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. However the more I read about Tony the more I realize I wanted to emulate my skills in the business world(at that time just sales skills) on his ethic. He was by far the hardest working guy in baseball up to that point. Even though he was the best hitter since Ted Williams he never had the true talent to suvive at the big league level so he used video and lots of it EVERY DAY to try and perfect his stoke. Just imagine playing in a game everyday then going and watching 4-6 hours of video every night during the season. His individual stats where astounding let me just give you two that to me represents his ability. In a 20 year career he only stuck out 3times in the same game ONCE(remember you get between 4and 5 at bats) and the other his batting average went up substantially with two strikes against him (.458).

My question for you in business is are you getting better in tough time or not? Do you find new ways to get and retain customers, create new products, or make your existing ones more valuble to the customer? Alot of business owners make excuses and say “well the economy is tough right now” Maenwhile there are plenty of others in their industry that make a killing during the same time period. Remember this fact –It’s not about figuring out all the reasons why something can’t happen instead it is focusing on what you CAN do because this roadblock or challenge showed up on your doorstep. Those who create the best ways to do business when times are tough and by far the most successful when things are easy.
I did the same exact thing with my craft I learn one thing new about business every day and apply it to specific situations. Instead of video I like feedback about my presentation from other sales professionals. Or if there is a task I don’t want to do I think of if Cal and Tony’s perserverance  and consider how it would have been already accomplished. This forces me to jump right on it.

In my book EXCELLENCE in business is doing those things you don’t want to and realizing that those things are what will end up making you successful. So often I meet or hear of business owners that fight doing what they arent good at or interested in. The really sad part is depending on what it is it can cost them their business. By the same token I have see others that just say I know I don’t like but without it I won’t achieve my goals and they sit down and LEARN it. The latter group tends to be able to take full advantage of unseen opportunities faster because they know they can handle it. Think of it this way “a challenge is an opportunity that shows up in work clothes”

<>   Thank you Tony and Cal you showed me and 70,000 others the meaning of excellence in how you both lived and played the game. And as you both said to play it with passion, integrity of yourself and your peers, and only focus on the little steps that you take and let the big things TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.

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