C-Suite lesson from the World Series: Stick with your judgement…even if it’s unpopular

Leaders, trust yourselves.

New York Met’s star pitcher, Matt Harvey, and Manager, Terry Collins, went with their guts in game five of the 2015 World Series and failed their team. They failed their city.  They failed their franchise.

They bet on Hollywood, not reality.

Leaders know that the laws of history and probability will win more often than not. They also watch the Hollywood depictions of those who bet against all odds and win. That is either total fiction or the rarest of rare exceptions.

Don’t be seduced, leaders.  Your job is to win; not to become sentimental heroes.

You have experience, you have knowledge. That’s why they pay you the big bucks. You trust facts and figures, statistics, and probabilities.  Don’t give in to sentimentality.

Yes, if New York Mets’ Manager Terry Collins’ original decision to pull Matt Harvey and his fighting spirit had led to a loss in game five of the 2015 World Series, his decision against sentimentality would have forever been lamented.

Collins’ decision to cave when his star pitcher got in his face and said, “No way” [I’m not coming out] proved to be the undoing of the team he is paid to lead. In that moment, when Collins reversed his original decision, he made Matt Harvey the manager of the New York Mets.  Harvey and, even so much more so, Collins share the blame.

There is a time to go with your employees’ gut or informed instincts.  There is also a time to trust what you know to be true.

Leaders, go with what you trust in your gut to be true and don’t let anyone talk you out of your conviction. Don’t allow your star-gazing; lesser angel out shout your better angel in a moment of adrenaline-charged passion.

Live to fight another day.



About John Hoover

John’s primary responsibility at Partners International is to define and design the company’s theoretical approach to and practical methodology for executive coaching and talent strategy consulting. His executive experience with The Walt Disney Company and McGraw-Hill, his M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy, and PhD in Human & Organization Development uniquely position him to invoke creativity, Innovation, and systems theory when coaching key policy makers in making critical organizational decisions that unleash the full talent potential of their organizational populations. An author or co-author of more than a dozen books on leadership and psychology, John is the creator of the Contextual Coaching™ model at Partners International and is co-author of The Coaching Connection (Amacom 2009). He developed curriculum and taught in graduate–level certification programs based on Coaching in the Organizational Context at CUNY and Fielding Graduate University.


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