On June 2, 1935 Babe Ruth announced his retirement from baseball. By the age of 40 he had become an American hero, an example of athletic prowess and a legend in his own lifetime.
Ruth introduced a whole new style of sportsmanship into the big leagues and there are many lessons on innovation and leadership that we can learn from him. I’ll explain more in the post below.
The Top 3 Business Lessons from Babe Ruth
1. Don’t be afraid of big moves
Prior to Ruth’s record-breaking career, baseball was a sport filled with strategic, but low-scoring moves, such as bunting and base-stealing. At this time, home runs were an anomaly, not something that players would strive for, as they do today.
Ruth changed all that. He would swing the bat, and hit home run after home run, reaching up to 60 in the 1927 season alone, and 714 over the course of his time in the Major Leagues.
Deciding to start your own business can be just as scary as stepping up to the plate, and isn’t for the risk averse. However, it can also lead to tremendous accomplishments. In the words of Babe Ruth, you should “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
2. Hire & retain the best players
In 1920, Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, sold his rights to Babe Ruth, despite the fact that Ruth had led them to three championship victories. This may have seemed like a good idea, given the financial benefits of doing so. But really, this was a short-sighted decision, and the Red Sox didn’t win another World Series until 2004. The Yankees, on the other hand, took part in seven more World Series games, with Babe Ruth as their star player.
So what are the business takeaways here? First, when you have great talent on your team, it’s worth considering how to retain them and how to best utilize their skills to make the company stronger. And second, you should always keep your eyes open for new employees who can help you exceed expectations.
3. Find what you love & pursue it
Babe Ruth once said, “Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” This level of passion is what drove him to work on his swing from a young age. He was able to take his love for the game and, with a lot of dedication, turn it into a career worthy of the Hall of Fame.
The question is, what motivates you? Personally, I’m fascinated by new technologies, and am always trying to find innovative ways to build on past successes and improve ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Platform. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. And if you don’t know what the equivalent is for you, it’s time to make a change.