Patience Pays Off When Developing Talent

How well do you know your employees’ abilities and skills?  Do you help them develop those by providing learning opportunities?  Do you let them work their way through tasks and give them room to fail, thereby giving them opportunity to grow?

Examples abound in the sports world of how to do this.  And yes, the same concepts apply in non-sports businesses.  It’s all about patience and taking the time to identify and develop potential.

From Jim Callis’ ranking of rookies in Major League Baseball for 2014:

“As this year’s Hall of Fame class would attest, future stars don’t always shine as rookies. In 1987, Greg Maddux was the worst starter on another last-place Cubs team, going 6-14 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.638 WHIP that each would have ranked as the worst in baseball had he not fallen just short of qualifying.

Meanwhile in Atlanta, another second-round pick from the 1984 draft spent his first summer in the big leagues getting battered. Tom Glavine went 2-4 in nine starts, with an ERA (5.54) and WHIP (1.748) not much different from Maddux’s. Neither received a vote in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting — Benito Santiago was the unanimous winner — but that didn’t stop them from combining for 660 victories, six Cy Young Awards, a 1995 World Series title with the Braves and a joint induction in Cooperstown this July.” (emphasis added)

If you aren’t a baseball fan, I will tell you that those are staggering statistics.  Many of the game’s best pitchers have never reached the magical 300 win plateau, yet these two pitchers – teammates for much of their careers – both reached it.

Recognizing talent. Patience. Coaching. They’re not just words, they’re your job.


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