I was saddened to learn about the passing of legendary baseball broadcaster and player Tim McCarver yesterday.
When I was a kid, I wrote a letter to McCarver asking for his autograph on my 1973 and 1976 baseball cards in the pictures above and below. McCarver generously obliged – which is an example of how he tirelessly served baseball fans as a player, leading broadcaster and game ambassador.
In memory of the great Tim McCarver, here’s some lessons for us to learn from him and which we can apply to the workplace:
⚾️ Reinvent Yourself: Early in his baseball career, McCarver helped lead his St. Louis Cardinals teams to two World Championships. As his career progressed, he transitioned from being a starting catcher to a back-up catcher. When his career ended, McCarver embarked on an outstanding broadcasting career which resulted in his induction into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. McCarver’s ability to embrace change throughout his career is exemplary for us in Corporate America.
⚾️ Relationships Matter: During his player career as a catcher, McCarver built deep relationships with two outstanding and highly influential baseball pitchers: Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton as he was their “personal” catcher. These close relationships with “Gibby” and “Lefty” certainly helped prolong McCarver’s career on the playing field. Whether you are on the baseball diamond or in Corporate America, relationships with the right people matter in your career.
⚾️ Transparency: As a broadcaster, McCarver was not shy in offering his open and honest opinions about a game to his audience. In fact, some baseball players refused to shake McCarver’s hand because they didn’t like him voicing his opinions. McCarver’s authenticity as a broadcaster is something that we need to see more from leaders in Corporate America.
⚾️ Providing Insights & Clarity: One of McCarver’s strengths as a broadcaster was his unique real baseball world insight that he constantly shared with his audience. He also delivered that insight with great clarity so that non-baseball fans could easily understand what was happening during a game. The ability for corporate leaders to drive clarity with their teams and to share thoughtful perspectives to help their teammates be successful is critical.
⚾️ Be a Storyteller: When you listened to McCarver during a game telling story after story after story, you felt that you were hanging out with your close uncle. Storytelling is an increasingly important skill for success in Corporate America and McCarver was a supreme storyteller.
⚾️ Excellence > Longevity: McCarver played baseball in four decades from 1959 to 1980. After his playing career he called a then-record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star games. He was an outstanding ambassador for our National Pastime for generations of baseball fans. McCarver exemplified excellence and constantly delivered high value to the fans – which is also a recipe for sustained success in Corporate America.
Rest in peace Tim McCarver.