By Sunny Simon
When I heard my client say he was going for a shut-out, I did a mental cheer. Not only did he declare a strong commitment, he used a metaphor that delighted me as I immediately thought of baseball. Pitching a shut-out means one pitcher goes nine innings without giving up a run. My client, a winning business owner, was ready to go the distance and wipe out the competition and I knew he could.
I’ve have a strong affection for America’s favorite pastime as the game offers so many life lessons. If you want an education on what it takes to be successful in business or in life, consider these game strategies:
Step up to the plate: Ever watch a player who is “on deck?” He is the guy next in line to bat. Observe him vigorously warming up his arms by swinging a weighted bat. Then, in turn he takes his place at the plate ready to move the game forward by making contact with the ball. In order to get in the game, first prepare in the on-deck circle prior to stepping up to the plate. Set a goal then take action by connecting and moving forward with your plan.
Stealing: Although stealing is legal only in baseball, the very nature of a steal is fraught with risk. To execute a steal successfully, a runner must have good instinct and timing. Ready to take that calculated risk? Sure, you might get tagged out, but you won’t know unless you try.
Sacrifice bunt: In this play the batter, who is typically sacrificed, bunts the ball to advance another player on base. Being a solid team player means giving up some personal glory for the greater good of the team.
Change up pitch: This off-speed pitch thrown to look like a fastball surprises the batter by arriving slower at the plate. The operative word here is change. Learn to anticipate change. If a change-up or a curveball situation takes you by surprise, deal with it.
Covering all the bases: An infielder’s job is to stand close to the base hoping to force a runner out when the ball is in play. Protect your career by building a safety net. Have an updated resume and continually network to make connections. This will prevent you from being thrown off your game by a business downturn or lay-off situation.
Out of the ballpark: Happy is the player who steps to the plate and knocks out a home run. Put these baseball strategies into practice and you will soon be belting one out of the park.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com