Leadership and “Moneyball”
This film, starring Brad Pitt, is needed right here and right now. It may be about a baseball team. It is really about business. And more importantly, it is about us, all of us. It challenges the traditional wisdom we have adopted from our parents and grandparents about success, about how leaders lead, about what really matters.
It seems counter-intuitive. It is truly intuitive.
It is time for us to really “get” that we are all connected and no one wins unless we all do. Isn’t that what those who have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement are saying underneath? That all workers matter? That everyone can contribute; and given an opportunity, can flourish.
The word empowerment has for too long been left in the realms of senior management and high potentials being groomed as next generation leaders. Studies indicate that when “workers”, the average Joe and Josephine, are asked to be creative, are given the incentives and respect to be creative, magic can happen.
When we learn to think about how systems operate we learn that putting a group of diverse individuals together to solve a problem, the problem more often than not gets solved. Business, and don’t forget, baseball is at heart a business.
The new paradigm that is demanding recognition, and comes from the determination of leaders like Billy Beane, shows the failure of our present business environment. Here is where we are hopefully headed:
1. To meet the basic condition that every citizen has the opportunity to be a full participant; to feel a sense of belonging and usefulness.
2. To have the ability to use talents to her or his highest capacity and be part of a collaborative community at work.
3. To achieve an equitable distribution of wealth and power.
Is this possible in a democracy? Can we have a society that gives its best and supports growth and development of each individual? In the new movie to be released in September, “Moneyball”, there is the quiet courage that Pitt portrays as Beane, who is forced to reinvent a team on a tight budget. There is also the bigger message, that the heart still trumps technology and that power from the heart can move mountains.