Again, I see parallels to the work world. All employees struggle at times. Sometimes they're tired and really don't want to trudge into the office for another day. Other times they get distracted by projects that aren't important to a looming deadline. And they may daydream as they look forward to the upcoming weekend and fun away from the office.
It's at those times that I've had the most fun as a manager. I've tried to talk to the people on my team, helping resolve the problems that stand in the way of them accomplishing their goals. I also try to offer words of encouragement and urge them to keep their eyes on the metaphorical ball, whether that's a set of project requirements or a rapidly approaching deadline.
Whether in the office or on the T-ball field, coaching can be frustrating at times. Sometimes it's hard to get through the day or the game, and the work is almost always exhausting.
But on those days when you feel like you've done it correctly, coaching also brings great rewards. In T-ball last week, one of the boys got a hit off a pitch for the first time, and all of the guys did their best job thus far of staying focused on defense. Seeing them make progress while still having fun is enormously gratifying.
Back in the office last week, I watched as several members of my team pulled together to overcome unexpected obstacles so they could complete an important project. Seeing them play to each other's strengths and work to the top of their abilities was, again, enormously gratifying.
It's never easy trying something new, whether it's working as a manager or coaching a T-ball team. But when we agree to take on a task that's outside of our comfort zone, we always learn something that helps us grow, even as we try to help others do the same.
That's why I'm thankful both for my job as a manager and for the opportunity I've had to lead a T-ball team. Both occupations teach me every time I walk through the office doors or step onto the field, and every day brings a fresh chance to become a better coach.
To which all I can say is, "Batter up!"
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