Written by Cory Blair - Chief People Officer
I for one do not like to read.
I cannot sit still long enough to sit and enjoy a book. In workshops, I confess to clients that I have read maybe 3 books from front to back. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, my university French 100 class textbook and Start with Why by Simon Sinek. I have been given countless books to read and I will always crack them open, only to skim to important quotes or lines to get a good snippet of the message. I prefer to learn through conversation with friends, family, and people I meet along the way. Those conversations are real and genuine and are usually stories told about lessons learned. For some reason, those seem to resonate with me more.
My oldest son Peyton plays a lot of sports. Hockey, football, and baseball are the ones that he gravitates to. What is interesting is his growing love for baseball. We have a program out where we live in Saskatchewan which is called the White Butte Minor Ball Association. Over the past couple years it has grown into this thriving monster of a program. It is a brand. It has a distinct culture. A culture of growth, development, and love of sport. It feels different when we as parents watch baseball over the other sports our kids play.
The program has countless coaches in all age groups, team managers, a board, volunteers, the list goes on. What I noticed though is the outstanding vision of 2 guys that in my mind enabled its success- Lonnie Griffin and Rob Cherespuschak. Peyton has been lucky enough to have these 2 guys as ball coaches for the last 2 years along with their assistants (Brad W, Glen, Tim, Brad H, and Greg) who all believe in the purpose and culture of the ball association. These 2 are instrumental in growing the brand of Bronco baseball.
Lonnie has a passion for baseball. A tactician with the game and a great coach, teaching strategy and the little things about baseball. He's also the president of the association and had the vision to grow the game in our community. That vision has ARRIVED! Lonnie is a true coach, staying calm and believing in the kids. A servant leader. This past season, all the age groups in the association competed well at provincials or even winning provincials, won league titles and individual players made respective provincial teams. A vision Lonnie saw a long time ago!
I started by saying I learn more by conversations with other people, especially people way smarter than me! That is why I love chatting with Rob. For whatever reason, our conversations are always very real and dive deep into topics that leave me energized. Sitting in the rink watching hockey camp or at the ball diamond, we chat and I learn something instantly. Rob is a teacher and is the Academy Coordinator for baseball at Martin Academy in Regina. He has coached high-level baseball across Saskatchewan and Canada. But you would never know that! The dude is HUMBLE. Probably the most humble guy I have ever met. He listens first and then talks second. His way of coaching is truly remarkable. Kids come first. Developing good people is his name of the game. Oh and yes he will coach you baseball and hockey skills too.
So this leads me back to why I started to write this. The success of Peyton’s ball team, the culture of the organization and another great conversation with Rob. At the rink a couple weeks back, Rob and I started chatting about sports including baseball and hockey. Rob said, “Life is about winning streaks”. He had heard it from someone in a chat just like we were having. Life will have times where you face zero adversity. Could be for a while. Could be short lived. But when you are in the groove it is a winning streak, just as it is in the sports we play, it can come to an end. Something will happen. Your health, someone in your family needs support, work life isn’t going as planned. Something. And when adversity strikes., you tend to feel like you are on a losing streak.
What Rob said to me clicked, and by further explaining to me his life winning streaks, as well as some of the losing streaks he has gone through, I had learned how to get back winning. He has 3 rules while coaching and in life in general. Don’t panic. Stick with the plan. Trust defeats fear. He has mentioned these to me before but when he added the winning streak philosophy it all makes sense.
So have you had winning streaks? Individually or as an organization? Losing streaks too? You bet. We all do. Framing adversity and also the good times in your life into streaks like Rob does, can help get you back on track. From a baseball team of 10-year-olds to an organization of 5,000 people, how you define and live your life according to your purpose is what will keep you below .500 or get you rolling on a winning streak.