Change Leaders – Finding the Five Tool Players

Changing times demand more from our leadership than ever before. Baseball stars are called “five tool players” because they can hit for power, hit for average, have great speed, great arm strength, and can field their position well. The present environment demands “five tool” change leaders. The five skills change leaders need match up with baseball’s five tools:Baseball Smoke

Baseball Tool Change Skill
Hitting for Power Technical Skill
Hitting for Average Strategic Skill
Speed Synthesis Skill
Arm Strength Financial Skill
Fielding Ability People Skill

Let explore the relationships. 

Power: Technical Skill

Just like a home run can change the entire momentum and outcome of a baseball game,  deep technical skill can lead to insights and breakthroughs that change entire industries. Companies fueled by inventions and cutting edge technology – or even just superior knowledge of Power Hittertheir industry – constantly play for the equivalent of the three run homer. Many small technical advances, combined with outstanding execution, can power businesses to great success.

Average: Strategic Skill

Players with the ability to hit for a high average are always on base and creating opportunities for their team. The same is true of leaders with Strategic Skill. They are able to see the conditions and situations that are being thrown at their organization and develop actions to take advantage of those situations. They create opportunities for the organization by simplifying situations and making it easier for their organizations to act.

Speed: Synthesis Skill

Speed is a game changing quality in baseball. The players with speed change the game by taking extra bases and putting pressure on the Base Speedopposition defense to make the right plays. Synthesizers also change the game by helping the people around them come up with the best solutions. They are unique in their ability to find answers because they search for the truth – no matter the source. Just like the speedster on the basepaths with no regard for the defense, synthesizers laser in on the best answers, without regard for politics, position, or any other factor.

Arm Strength: Financial Skill

Arm strength is a basic talent of a baseball player. Players with strong arms – pitchers or position players – can overcome other shortcomings or reinforce their other defensive abilities with a strong arm. Financial skills have the same effect in the business world. They are basic skills that reinforce other business skills and sharpen understanding of the business. Mediocre businesspeoFieldingple with strong financial skills often outperform people with stronger business sense and weak financial skills.

Fielding Ability: People Skills

Great fielding ability can keep people in the major leagues for a long time. The infamous telegraph “good field no hit” still applies to many players. Defensive ability is one of the cornerstones for great baseball players. The same applies for people skills. Leaders in the new economy must have solid people skills in order to succeed – especially in a changing environment. No longer can companies rely on security, benefits, or the lack of other opportunities in the marketplace to keep and motivate talented employees. Leaders must be able to engage their people and provide opportunities for them to excel in order to deliver superior performance. People skills are a cornerstone talent: essential for success in these times.

Five skills are essential to thrive in this changing economy. Five Tool Players understand each of them, develop them within themselves, and use them to make their organizations better. How many Five Tool Players do you have in your organization? Are they engaged in positions where they can have the most impact?

Your company’s survival may depend on it!!


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