Weekly Leadership Lifter

August 29, 2022

If you’re from St Louis, you’re most likely a St. Louis Cardinals fan, and if you’re a Cardinals fan you know all about Tony La Russa. Tony was the manager of the Cardinals from 1996 - 2011. During his tenure with the Cards he won 3 National League Pennants and led them to 2 World Series wins. He has been elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and has been one of the only managers to win MLB Championships with teams from both the National League and the American League. Tony was known for his stoic demeanor, his preparation, and his fanatical attention to detail.

In an article published in a San Francisco paper, one of Tony La Russa’s former players, infielder Tony Phillips of the Oakland A’s, said this about him,

"I didn't like him at all”.

“I told Tony at the FanFest in January, I did not like you.” Phillips cackled, then admitted that while he didn't enjoy La Russa's no-nonsense ways at the time, his career was the better for it.

"That's what I needed," Phillips said.

"Tony brought the best out of me, yes. I told him he taught me more about baseball than anybody. He taught me how to go about the job. He taught me to be a professional.”

“And I really, really did not like him, but he set me off on my career, taught me how to dot the i's and cross the t's because he was so prepared.”

What I love about this quote is, it shows us one of the characteristics of a great leader, THEY EQUIP AND PREPARE THEIR TEAMS.

According to the dictionary, the word equip means: to furnish for service or action by giving appropriate provision. It also means “to make ready” or “to prepare.”

"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
— Paul Bear Bryant

"I don't believe in luck; I believe in preparation."
— Bobby Knight

"Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house."
— Proverbs 24:27

With this in mind, here are a few questions to make sure were doing our best to truly equip and prepare those we lead:

  1. Am I praying for them?
  2. Am I personally modeling the behaviors and characteristics I want to see in them?
  3. Am I sensitive to their particular gifts and abilities so that I place them in the areas where they make the greatest contribution?
  4. Am I providing them with the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities?
  5. Am I giving them adequate training?
  6. Am I giving them regular feedback so they can make adjustments?
  7. Am I sowing books and resources into their life to help their personal growth?
  8. Am I encouraging them and regularly expressing my appreciation for their work?

The bottom line is that equipping and preparing is much more than handing someone a job description and a timecard. Equipping is investing your time, your life, and your resources to help them become their best!

Book Recommendation:

The Leadership Pill by Ken Blanchard


God is for you!
Pastor Blunt