The Magic of Opening Day
For 24 years and counting, professional baseball has been a major part of my life. Yet, the one feeling that never gets old, is the excitement of Opening Day.
Nearly 150 years after its founding, baseball stands above all other sports as America’s national pastime. And no other game during the regular 162-game season is as eagerly anticipated as Opening Day.
It’s the one day that every team is tied for first place; and, thousands of fans pile into ballparks across the country to soak in this larger than life experience. My 10-year-old son Bryce is on record saying, “Opening Day should be a national holiday.”
Beginning the Journey from Worst to First
On March 29, 2018, Major League Baseball (MLB)’s 2018 season will open in earnest. The Houston Astros will take the field as MLB’s defending World Series Champions for the first time in franchise history. Yes, the same Houston Astros organization that finished with the worst record in MLB in 2012 and 2013 took it all in 2017. How does an organization go from “Worst” to “First”? Was it Change or Transition?
In November of 2011, the Houston Astros embarked on — what appeared to the baseball layman as– major changes. The team was sold to a former college pitcher and extremely competitive businessman named Jim Crane. Jim immediately hired Jeff Luhnow, a New Age-thinking, highly intelligent, analytics-driven general manager. Following the 2012 season, the Astros even changed from the National League Central to the American League West.
Then on September 27, 2012, the Astros made another major change when they hired a highly regarded, yet young and up-and-coming, manager: 40-year-old Bo Porter. At the time, Bo was the youngest manager in MLB.
Now that’s a lot of Change! Or was it a Transition?
Fearing the Unknown
Change often carries a negative connotation – not because change is essentially negative, but because it is accompanied by uncomfortable feelings. Chief among these feelings is fear of the unknown. That said, we must remember that some of the world’s greatest ideas and accomplishments were opposed by many and called crazy when first presented.
“When they call you crazy, remember that great ideas don’t come from average minds.”
When seeking the change you wish to see in the world, focus on mastering the transition. The transformational change will be a byproduct of your efforts.
Leaders and consultants often talk about the need to “manage change”. Many talk about the changing dynamic that millennials are bringing to the workforce. Empty nesters talk about the change associated with their children going off to college. And wherever I speak, people talk about the changes happening in their organization, company, school, industry, relationships and society.
It appears that people don’t like change and are afraid of it. But again, are they actually “afraid’ of change, or are they afraid of the unknown factors they must endure for change to happen?
Personally, I believe people like change. They just don’t like transition.
I remember when Fort Bend County – where I reside — was building the Toll Road. I hated all the construction that made my drive into town a challenge. However, I love the Toll Road today! It makes my drive into town a breeze.
Embracing the Unknown
In a similar manner, I was thrust into transition when I lost what I thought was my dream job. I hated going through that transition; but, now I’m thankful. It led me to take a deeper dive into entrepreneurship and my philanthropic endeavors.
I’m Chairman of the Board of the SELF Foundation, CEO of Bo Porter Enterprise and President of REal Excellence Inc, I also became the author of two books: REal Life EMPOWERED, and The END GAME, and joined the motivational and leadership national speaking circuit. Last, but not least, my current job in baseball as the MLB Players Association’s Director of Player & Youth Development brings me complete joy and peace.
I don’t like the first few days of writing a book; but, I love it when it’s finished. After two years of modest increases to annual profit margins, my two companies tripled profit margins in 2017. Additionally, the SELF Foundation continues to serve and provide meaningful programs for underprivileged and underserved communities.
The transition from “who we are” to “who we are meant to be” is often challenging and fearful. However, it’s all part of the process that produces the change we are meant to ultimately experience and enjoy.
The same is true for transitions and change in organizations, relationships and society.
The Power of Transition
Right now, our country is going through a transition. A lot of issues and transgressions are being brought to the surface. It’s painful and uncomfortable; however, I believe it will ultimately lead to positive change in the future.
Call me idealistic; but, research shows that those who believe in a brighter and better future are the ones who mobilize to create it.
So, whether you are going through a transition in your life, in your marriage, at work or in your organization, I want you to see the difference between transition and change.
Don’t let fear amidst the unknown prevent you from driving positive change for you, or for your company, organization, team, or even your family.
Stay positive through the transition so you can benefit from the change.
Trusting the Process
Trust that no matter how much you dislike the transition, it will lead to positive change and great things in your future. Just ask any member of the 2013 Houston Astros organization who endured the lowest of lows, only to be rewarded with the ultimate prize at the end of the transition rainbow: a World Series Championship in 2017.
What an amazing Transition! Following the Astros’ incredible season and World Series Championship, I received countless calls, text messages, emails, fan letters, instant messages and compliments. Those who recognized the transformative power of transition wanted to thank me for the small role I played during the Houston Astros’ lean years.
Some may assume I harbor negative feelings about the Astros’ rise to the pinnacle of MLB. This could not be further from the truth! I have first-hand knowledge of how the process works; so, no one appreciates it more than me “when a plan comes together.”
Transition: The Ultimate Reward
I commend the Astros for having the courage to endure the transitional growing pains necessary to reap the remarkable dividends of change. I’m honored to have laid some of the necessary building blocks that aided the Houston Astros in their quest to being crowned MLB World Series Champions.
I learned and grew immensely from my experience with the Astros. My current, more enlightened views on leadership and team building were informed greatly by the lessons learned while managing the Astros.
We either learn from our life lessons, or continue to dwell in them.
Life’s REal joy and peace is letting go of what you’ve been conditioned to believe your life should look like, and enjoying it for everything that it is.
Transitions can be uncomfortable; but, know this: When God wants us to grow, He makes us uncomfortable.
Remember: To Endure the Change, you must Embrace the Transition.
This “Bo’s Lessons On Growing” (BLOG) has come to an end. I want to personally thank you for taking time to read, comment, share and follow “The Coach of Champions” BLOG. I hope my words motivate you to Champion your life so you, too, can reach your full potential. Until the next BLOG!
The Coach of Champions
Your Turn; Let Me Know What You Think!
Did reading “The Coach of Champions” BLOG on Change vs Transition help you? Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation, but afraid of change? Did you exercise your courage and overcome your fears? What was the outcome? Are you currently facing a transition?
Please write a comment or message me. I’d love to know what you think.
Published By: Bo Porter, the “The Coach of Champions” and the bridge to your success.
Bo is one of the world’s leading experts on sports, youth development, leadership, business development, and relationships. He is also the author of two books, REal Life EMPOWERED and The END GAME. Bo is the CEO of Bo Porter Enterprise and Founding President of REal Excellence Inc. He is also Chairman of the Board of the SELF Foundation. People “Grow With Bo”, and reach their full potential.
Pre-Order Bo Porter’s soon to be released book, 78 KEYS TO CHAMPION YOUR LIFE. In this book, Bo provides his readers and listeners with an undeniable alphabet chain of motivational content that will inspire and ignite the CHAMPION in YOU!
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