Thursday, June 17, 2010

Public Persona versus Reggie Bar

My Uncle Irv was a baseball coach in the Philadelphia area for decades. I asked him once if he coached a famous big league baseball player. He said,

Yeah, I coached a sweet, skinny boy who was the best fielder I ever saw. He was the fastest runner I ever coached and hit the ball nicely. But most of all, he was the nicest kid on the team, a real team-player.
I searched through my brain for who that could be: team-player, skinny, fast, great fielder... But I gave up and asked my uncle to tell me. He said,
Have you ever heard of Reggie Jackson?

I was stunned. Sure I had heard of him, but he, while being a Hall of Famer, was also known for being a trouble-maker, a lazy fielder and was not known as speedy. He was known as a tremendous power hitter. I then remembered one other thing about Reggie from an interview early in his professional baseball career. He shared a secret with the reporter: on the inside of his baseball hat, he put masking tape with 30-100-.300 handwritten in ink. Each time he put on his ball cap he saw 30-100-.300. Those numbers stood for his goals of hitting 30 home runs, 100 RBI (runs batted in) and batting .300. He achieved those goals many times during his Hall of Fame career.

The lesson? Your public persona may be one thing. Your personal focus and determination is another. If he had focused on the public persona and not his goals, we may never have heard of him. He did the right thing. Besides, how many of us will ever have a candy bar named after us?

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond
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