If you watched the St. Louis Cardinal’s win over the Rangers in game 6 of the World Series last night, you saw one of the best ballgames ever. The ups and downs and the drama was “exhausting”, in the words of one of my friends who I texted with throughout the game. It was also exhilarating.
After the game, one of the sportscasters interviewed Cardinals third basemen David Freese, who was one of the heroes – there were several. David hit a two out, two strike triple in the bottom of the ninth to drive in two runs and tie the game, then hit a walk-off home run in the 11th to win it. What a feeling that must have been for him to run the bases after the biggest hit of his young career, and in his home town no less!
To me, the most poignant part of the Freese interview was when he said that his team expected it. They expected to come back and win. They get down, they bounce back. They’re down to their last strike, and they stay alive. In other words, they believe they can win…every time, every pitch, every game. It’s been evident the last 60 days of the season, when they came back from 10 ½ games to get to where they are today.
The other key point Freese made was that this belief came from the top, in Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. According to Freese, Tony instills the winning attitude in his ballclub, knows better than anybody how to get his team ready, and motivates each player with the belief that they can win every game, no matter how far down they are or what the circumstances may be. That’s real leadership.
In business, there are ups and downs and wins and losses. As a leader in an organization, it’s critical that you provide the belief that good things are going to happen; that you will have wins. It’s all about attitude; a positive attitude. It’s about believing in yourself and in your teammates. It’s what separates great teams from good teams. Start today. Believe. The Cardinals do.
Who would have thought on August 25th that the Cardinals would be playing for the championship of the world in the 7th game of the series in their stadium with Chris Carpenter on the mound? They did. Does it get any better than that?