I’ve just become a big fan of the Texas Rangers, and I’ve never even watched them play a game. Actually, I haven’t seen a professional baseball game in years. It isn’t baseball that attracts me to their story; it’s how radically the Texas Rangers changed their game in a very, very short time. This team won only one post-season game for half a century – longer than many fans have been watching the game of baseball – and then changed in just over a year. They became the best team in the American League and one of the best teams in the world.
Half of the team members today were with the Texas Rangers by 2009 or earlier, prior to bringing home the American League championship in 2010. In the game of baseball, where players are traded regularly, free agents abound, and relief pitchers brought in from farm teams, turnover is not uncommon. So, the pool of talent was and still is from the best in the world. It’s professional baseball. The mediocre talent doesn’t make any team.
Look at the managers: Jon Daniels was named general manager in 2005, while Ron Washington became manager in 2007. No change there.
How about owner? In 2009, the previous owner was in trouble financially and in 2010 sold the Texas Rangers. Nolan Ryan, already president of the Texas Rangers, became part-owner as well. By March 2011, Ryan became controlling owner, CEO and President of the Texas Rangers. Big change in ownership right before the big turnaround in how the team played.
An owner is a visionary that determines the direction and goals for the organization. Owners develop infrastructure, determine strategy and oversee execution of the plan. Owners set the tone for the entire team.
From 1961 to 2009, the Texas Rangers had exactly one post-season win, then in 2010 they won the American League championship and competed in the World Series. Last week, they played as finalists in the 2011 World Series. The change in ownership jumps out at you, when you look for what could have sparked such a dramatic move forward. This owner’s perspective of what this team could do was different; he had a new vision, different strategies, and bigger goals.
In the game of life, you are the owner of your team. You are the visionary; you set the goals and direction of your life. You are also the player with skills and resources to develop for playing at the level of your dreams. If you don’t already have the talent you need, you can trade time, money, or ideas for it, because you are the manager of your team, too. You have the ability to perform at your own world series level.
Look at your talents, skills, and resources through the eyes of a new owner. I challenge you as owner, manager, and player to be your own visionary, manage your resources, and play your best.
By the way, the Texas Rangers have eight coaches on their team. You can be your own coach, too, or you can ask someone like me to help you be accountable, champion you when you need it, and give you objective insight into your playing style. Either way, you are still the owner and you set the tone. Make it one the puts you in reach of goals you’ve only imagined before.