Daniel Howes' article on how the Detroit Tigers have a lesson for all of us has inspired me to show what Michigan and its' leaders could learn from the Tigers. The Tigers suffered through 12 straight losing seasons. In 2003 they even tied the record for most losses ever in a single season with 119. The players were known throughout baseball to have horrible attitudes and a work ethic to match.
Just three years after their 119 loss season the Detroit Tigers won 95 games in the regular season and made it to the World Series.
How did they rise from the depths of despair and what lesson(s) can Michigan learn from them?
- Leadership - Owner Mike Ilitch, GM Dave Dombrowski, Manager Jim Leyland, and the players themselves all exhibited excellent leadership skills.
- Management - Jim Leyland's no nonsense, grind it out day-to-day, forget yesterday and focus on today management attitude was a large part of their renaissance.
- Performance - Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers players performed well above anyone's wildest expectations.
- Jim Leyland's Mantra - There are NO short cuts - you have to work at it.
- From the Detroit News (regarding Jim Leyland and his leadership) - "when things go right it's not all about him and when they don't, he doesn't look for the five closest people to throw under the proverbial bus. Sound like any leaders you know -- or not?"
Lets compare the 5 winning examples from the Detroit Tigers to Michigan. The part of Jim Leyland will be played by our governor, Jennifer Granholm. The players will be played by our elected legislature.
- Leadership - Our bipartisan legislature (the players) does their own thing. Our Governor says one thing and then does another. No one wants to put politics aside and create a winning plan for the residents (the fans - sticking with the baseball analogy here). Is it any wonder why the fans (Michigan residents) are leaving the ballpark (Michigan)?
- Management - Jennifer Granholm could take a lesson from Jim Leyland (whom Tiger fans wanted to vote in for governor last year) and develop a no nonsense "buck stops here" attitude. No more passing the buck and blaming our state's failures on the Engler administration. You are in your 5th year as Governor of Michigan. Show us something.
- Performance - We are facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit in the coming years. Businesses continue to leave and layoff. Here we are at the end of April and the Democrats and Republicans just don't seem to have a sense of urgency about stopping the bleeding and creating a workable plan that won't have the burden (tax increases) placed on Michigan residents.
- No Short Cuts - Rather than really trying to find areas to cut, state lawmakers are proposing tax increases to plug the holes in the budget deficit.
- "When things go right it's not all about him and when they don't, he doesn't look for the five closest people to throw under the proverbial bus. Sound like any leaders you know -- or not?" - No Comment.