Of Baseball and Bodyguards…
Opening week of baseball is here. With the sounds of the ‘boys of summer’ heralding in spring, it means I am able to bring out my baseball analogies.
Baseball involves (IMHO) a group of individuals, who happen to be on a team. While they strive for the “W” and mutually support their teammates to advance the run (or prevent it!!!) players also understand they are individuals who are beholden to statistics which set them apart and could mean their future. CNN’s John Avlon put it eloquently (referring to Ken Burns’ documentary on the game) in his online editorial (http://ow.ly/jOLEG ) stating, “The best players of today compete not just with the players in their league, but the best players of all time.”
Managing a group like this must be both exhilarating and challenging.
Managing an executive protection team is the same.
Leading a team of specialists who are trained to put the needs of their designate before their own is like managing a group of ball players. Each has base level abilities and individual skillsets requiring sustainment or improvement. Elongated periods on the road can lead to slumps and everyone has their superstitions and totems (hey, I still carry the same go-bag with me ~ for 10 years!!!! But that is another post ). The leader’s (or managers) job is to pick them up when they are down and, also, not to let anyone’s hubris get the better of them. The goal remains to mesh these individuals together for the better of the whole, while not forgetting everyone has their own unique talents. At times, like a ball player, agents are batting .400, while others may be in a slump. The leader’s job is to work with each one and hone them to their best abilities.
Like watching a hitter slap in an RBI or experiencing the first “no-no” from a pitcher, I remain constantly amazed by the abilities of today’s protectors. They are smart, fit, confident and always seeking improvement. Maybe it’s the cracker jacks talking (http://ow.ly/jOMpD) but this industry (and the people in it) continue to evolve and amaze.
Keep your heads down folks and let’s “PLAY BALL!”