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Greatness Comes from Looking Ahead

Jul 28, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
What a 9-year-old Can Teach Us About Life One Saturday morning, I found myself standing and watching a Little League baseball game. I had a mask on my face and was safely isolated away from anyone else. It was so weird. But I enjoyed being outside in the sun, hearing the familiar sounds of a ball popping into leather and the pings of the bat when hitters made contact. It almost felt like the start of something new. The game was played by a bunch of 9-year-olds, which meant you knew you were going to see plenty of errors and miscues. They’re going to drop fly-balls and let others roll through their legs. They’re still learning the game. But there was something special going on in this particular game. There was an intensity to it. All the parents and family members in the crowd were rapt with attention. You could hear a pin drop. The pitcher for one team was really impressive. It seemed like everything he threw was over the plate. Something like 60 of the 76 pitches he threw were strikes. It was unbelievable. But his team had gotten off to a terrible start—they were down 2-0 in the first inning—because his teammates had made three errors in a row letting the other team take the lead. Believe me, I’ve seen enough Little League baseball games in my life to know what usually happens in these situations: the pitcher throws a fit. His body language will say it all. Maybe he’ll throw up his arms into the air in exasperation. He might even throw his glove into the dirt in anger. There’s likely to even be some tears. He’ll be so upset because he feels like his teammates are letting him down—and it’s their fault they’re losing the game.
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Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.