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Even when you mess up, you lead

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

As a young baseball pitcher, Larry Dierker learned a lesson in teamwork from his second baseman, Joe Morgan.

Dierker was pitching in San Diego with a short lead in the late stages with a man on first and nobody out. The batter hit a ground ball to Morgan—a perfect double play ball—but Morgan muffed the play. The next batter hit a ground ball to Morgan—a perfect double play ball—and Morgan muffed that one, too. Now, Dierker faced the bases loaded with nobody out when the inning should have been over … twice.

After the second boot, Morgan walked to the mound. Dierker was ticked off and really didn’t want to talk to Morgan, but he listened and heard something he’s never forgotten.

“I’m sure glad you’re pitching,” Morgan said, “because you’re the one guy who can get us out of this.”

“’The one guy!’ ‘Us!’ I can’t tell you how good that made me feel,” Dierker recalls. “I pitched out of it,allowing only one run, and we won the game. And I can’t tell you how good that made (Morgan) feel.”

— Adapted from This Ain’t Brain Surgery, Larry Dierker, Simon & Schuster.

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