Derek Jeter’s Boot Camp for the IT Team

Dateline: October 24, 2014

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

This week’s idea comes from a blogpost with a provocative title, “What CIOs Can Learn from Derek Jeters Boot Camp“, written by managing editor Jack Rosenberger for CIO Insights.  As you may know, NY Yankee Derek Jeter has announced his retirement after 20 years in baseball.   Even if you are not a Yankee’s fan (Full Disclosure: I’m a Red Sox fan, so even writing about a Yankee is causing some stress), you have to be impressed with Jeter’s career statistics which so far include the team’s all-time career leader in hits (3,448), games played (2,725), stolen bases (357) and at bats (11,119), 1996 Rookie of the Year, five Golden Glove awards and five Silver Sluggers awards, 14 All-Star selections, and awards for being MVP of the All-Star Game and the World Series in 2000.  So what can IT leaders learn from this superstar?

In the presence of these stellar accomplishments, Jeter’s success in professional baseball seems almost predetermined, with one achievement on the playing field being inevitably followed by another of equal or greater significance. The reality of Jeter’s early career, however, is very different, and Jeter’s subsequent achievements are due, in large part, to the Yankees organization investing in its employees and providing with them with first-rate training. Professional baseball, after all, is a business.

Among other defensive faults, Jeter was timid when approaching ground balls, and his throwing arm wasn’t always accurate. Through a series of intense morning and afternoon workouts, supplemented by video review sessions, Butterfield rebuilt and improved Jeter’s defensive skillset over a five-week period popularly known as Jeter’s “boot camp.”

A natural question for CIOs and other IT leaders is, what’s your IT organization’s equivalent of Derek Jeter’s boot camp? When one of your IT employees is stumbling badly or just plain messing up, how does your organization help him or her?

What do you do when one of your team members stumble?  What is your equivalent to Derek Jeter’s boot camp?  Do you make this type of investment in your rising stars?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend!

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