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Selling Tickets to Your Field of Dreams

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to differentiate managing and coaching. Reading time: 2:34.

         You’re a newly minted leader. Yet you still think of yourself as a manager and others regard you as a coach. You are confused—almost as confused as the professional sports world must be where nomenclature seems off track.  After all the title of head honcho in basketball and football (The Coach) is different from the head  honcho in baseball (The Manager).

       Let’s clear up the confusion and better focus your role as a manager, as a coach and as a leader.

       Dusting off the baseball history books we discover the origin for calling the on-the-field boss the “manager.” Turns out before there was a front office in the world of professional baseball, the on-the-field manager also conducted management duties from selling tickets to booking hotel rooms for players on the road.

      Meanwhile the baseball manager delegated the on the field team operations to an uniformed team captain. Gradually as baseball became more popular and revenues increased, professional baseball teams hired front office personnel to run the business. The manager moved onto the field to run the team; retained his manager’s title and assumed the team captain’s uniform.

Kevin Costner emerging in his Field of Dreams from the 1989 movie

          Today that baseball manager also  LEADS at least seven assistant coaches, including the pitching coach, the batting coach, the bullpen coach, the bench coach, the first-base coach and the third-base coach in addition to leading the team while also managing the day-to-day on the field operations.

      The learning for newly minted leaders is this: Managers are responsible for specific operational concerns: from selling tickets to recruiting specific coaches to assist with specific on-the-field, skills-based play.

      In that management role, there is a specific and well-defined goal that takes planning, organizing, communicating and controlling. And among the coaches there is another transactional chart –imbedded in planning and organizing –delineating specific behavioral results on a check list.

      But over and above all that planning and organizing, all of that managing and coaching, you still have to lead.

     The Leader  sets the tone, establishes the culture, nurtures growth, protects and promotes the image and reputation of the team, and exercises his influence in guarding against internal team conflict in a highly competitive, highly volatile world of a pennant race.

      Indeed today on the field of dreams managers do more than manage. They lead. These manager/leaders sell tickets to much more than the field of play. They sell tickets to the field of dreams, leading players, coaches and fans —- regardless of their title.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Managing and coaching are distinct duties to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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