As a lifelong Cub fan who was born and raised in Chicago, I'm struck by history that was set tonight. 108 years since their last World Series win is (literally) an eternity. The breaking of "the curse", the building of the team, the investment in leadership and players is inspiring.
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!
Growing up, my father, a north-sider, rooted for the White Sox. Not because he didn't like the Cubs, but he was frustrated with the Wrigley family (who owned the Cubs back then) and their unwillingness to invest in the team so that they at least had a chance of winning. While other teams were recruiting great pitching, great defensive players and people who could hit the ball on to Waveland Avenue on a regular basis, the team leadership relished in the "lovable loser" brand. For decades (and decades and decades), they simply would not do what it took to change their future.
There is clearly some parallels for us as leaders, and for our organizations. Leaders must lead. Leaders must invest in the future of the "franchise". Leaders must invest in getting the right team together to have a chance at winning. Leaders must face and overcome what seem like impossible obstacles (and odds). When this happens, great things happen. If you listen to the players and coaches when asked, "Why did you finally break through? What was special about this team?", the answer was the same: "This team is special — we all have each others back and we never stopped believing". Inspiring indeed.
These characteristics are not just good for the leader — they are critical for the development, encouragement and performance of the team. It builds confidence, encourages them to be part of something bigger than themselves, and gives them a reason to belong. They're even better for customers (fans), Customers want to work with inspired organizations. Organizations that will do what it takes to succeed. Organizations that listen to its customers and have that "we'll do whatever it takes" attitude.
108 years is a long time for the Cubs to go from lovable losers to world champions. I'l leave you with the words of Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never ever give up".
Steve is a husband, father, and business exec. He loves anything outdoors, anything that is a hard challenge, and enjoys working with anyone who wants to continually improve. And golf. He loves golf. Steve is the founder and CEO of Executive Advisory Partners.