Monday, February 24, 2014

Becoming a Professional MVP: Stealing Second Base

by: Patrick Gallagher

MLB’s 2014 Spring Training is in full swing (yep…pun intended); and so I found it appropriate this week to use baseball as the platform for this post. Imagine you are up to bat, knock a single through the gap and are currently standing on first. It’s now time to advance to the next base – take a deep breath, get into your stance and start thinking about stealing second.

Stealing second base is about taking advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself to advance yourself forward. Obviously size and speed play a huge role in the ability to steal second, but your TIMING and GOOD JUDGEMENT play an even bigger part of continued success. Once you become good at stealing bases, you become a great offensive weapon for your team and add value in ways you never thought was possible.  

Similarly, the workplace environment presents us with moments to “steal second base”, but the tricky part is identifying when to go for it and when to hold back. This week’s professional tips will help you stay ahead of your peers in the workplace to remain competitive but also hopefully allow for you stand out when that moment is upon you to “steal second”. In other words, it’s about capitalizing on those opportunities where no expects you to shine. It’s about taking ownership of a project or task that you were never asked to do, but always knew that your boss/supervisor needed it to be done at some point by someone within the organization.

First things first, your body language and demeanor is vital. This goes without saying but get your posture ready for the moment. As the base runner (employee), you will constantly be communicating with your body language and so it is important to realize the type of signals you’re sending out. With that in mind, consider the following strategy to effectively “steal second base.”

Look for the Signs. Think about it – who do you look at initially when you get to first base? The coach (your boss) will give you the signs that guide your next move to either stay close to the bag or take a big lead and steal second base. Either way, it’s important that you take a moment to read the signs correctly before taking on that project. Don’t confuse opportunity with overstepping the boundaries.

Take the Lead. Be confident in your skill set and allow yourself to let go of any insecurities that may be holding you back from taking the lead on that particular project.

Watch the Pitcher. Once you’ve taken the lead, your focus should solely be on the pitcher. Or in our case, it should solely be on how/why the completion of this project will (a) solve a problem/issue for your boss and (b) propel you forward. It is imperative that you use good judgment; don’t simply move forward because YOU think it’s a good idea. Remember, you are part of a team and the consequences of your decision effect an entire group of people (your team).

Be Patient. Timing is everything. Just like you have to wait for the right moment to launch yourself toward second base, it is imperative you consider all the variables around you within the workplace to determine if this is an appropriate time to take on a new project.

Take Your Base. Once you have taken everything into sincere consideration, and you know this is your moment to shine, let all your fears go and do whatever it takes to steal second base. Be that offensive weapon and show your colleagues, as well as your bosses, that you are here to do whatever it takes to win this game for the team.

Lastly, and most importantly, DO NOT get picked off at first base. Under no circumstances should you let yourself lose focus on what’s in front of you – pay attention to your surroundings and make that first step toward second base your absolute best.
 Patrick is a MS, Sport Management candidate at Drexel University set to graduate in Summer 2014. He is the Business and Operations Graduate Assistant for Drexel Athletics and is responsible for supporting the Administration and Operations staff of Drexel's Athletic Cabinet this year. Gallagher graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in marketing and management, in May 2006 from Villanova University. During his enrollment, he was named Captain of the men's varsity soccer team and was appointed President of SAAC. He is looking to use his professional experience as a media sales consultant in New York, coupled with his passion for sports, to pursue a successful career in athletic administration.
You can connect with Patrick Gallagher on LinkedIn

No comments:

Post a Comment