October 15th, 1988 – I was 15 years old and I learned a very valuable lesson from my Dad.  Sitting on the floor of our living room in Phoenix Arizona, the Los Angeles Dodgers (my favorite baseball team even though my entire family are Cubs fans) was playing in Game 1 of the World Series.  I was nervous as the game was close going into the 9th inning with the score 4-3 in favor of the Oakland A’s.

Bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs, I watch the Dodger’s Coach, Tommy Lasorda bring up Kirk Gibson who had been injured (both legs) and did not start the game.  My reaction?  I got up, said “game over” and started to head out of the living room in disappointment.  My dad immediately stopped me and said, “where are you going?”.  I said, “the game is over, we lost and there is no need to continue watching the game”.  My dad responded sternly and yet with compassion, “son, the game is not over until it is over.  This is your team so sit back down and watch them through thick and thin”.  Reluctantly (and I’m sure I sighed heavily), I sat down.

Spend a few minutes to watch this…it will not waste your time.

With a 3-2 pitch and 2 outs, Kirk hit a 2-run shot!  I was overcome with an excitement and happiness. I shouted, “Oh my gosh!  Are you serious!?  Whoo-hoo!”.  Kirk Gibson hit a home run and won the 1st game of the World Series!  I later watched them win the entire World Series!

The lesson I learned from my Dad that day?  Commitment, to honor my team by participating with them, loyalty, follow-thru, and so much more. Since then, I have focused on those values, characteristics and share these with others.  Furthermore, I have recognized one more; a lot of the time it is about putting the right person in at the right time.  Knowing the strengths and weaknesses so to trust those who are on the team is what team building is all about.  For me, pulling out the potential of those around me and watching them be their best is what excites me so don’t count people out!

What excites you?  What have you learned over the course of life through experiences, knowledge or your personal values? What values do you share with others?