You Dropped the Ball

Mark Fogel HR & Sports, Mark Fogel, Performance 2 Comments

My painful summer of 2018 as a Met fan is highlighted by their shortstop dropping the ball after colliding with an outfielder in the 13th inning of a meaningless game against the San Francisco Giants. Or was it meaningless?

Having spent 2 weeks this past month watching Little Leaguers on ESPN leading up to the Little League World Series, I pondered how professionals making huge salaries could not catch a pop up. Surely if 12-year-olds have figured this out…

I know, Mark is dishing on another baseball theme, this time with his favorite team, with arguably the best starting pitching rotation in baseball. However, the team just can’t seem to get things done right. Pitching without hitting or defense and way too many injuries to key players is a lost cause…

So where am I going with this?

Well a pop up in baseball is a routine event. Catching a fly ball is practiced repeatedly all the way thru high school, college and minor league baseball. Then folks make it to the big leagues and distractions occur daily. Fundamentals and practicing the basics are sometimes pushed to the side lines.

In HR most of us have spent years perfecting our craft. We take programs, we take certification tests, we live our knowledge every day. But then some of us make it to the big leagues. In HR that means we get promoted to senior management and make a nice living.

We attend strategic meetings, we get bigger paychecks, we get respect… well most of us do.

But sometimes we lose the discipline and sharpness of catching a routine pop up. Most of the time it goes unnoticed like the pop up I referred to in the Met game. However, occasionally, that pop up has ramifications. We forget to do the little things that got us to our current and respectable situations.

What if it was not a meaningless game? What if it was a situation with impact to your business?

I recently had a situation in my consulting business where I dropped a pop up. It shook me to my core. It was a meaningless game. No one noticed except for me, but what if it wasn’t a meaningless mistake? It woke me up. It rattled me. I went back to basics and insuring I do the little things that got me to where I am today.

Do you keep your skills sharp? Do you practice? Or are you too special to do so, or important, or just too busy? Sometimes our egos and situations make us feel more important than we really are.

Talent gets you to the big leagues, but practice keeps you there and enables you to win. Food for thought…

My little error got me thinking about keeping my skills sharp. How about you???

Mark Fogel

Mark Fogel is best known for his HR with an Attitude. His background includes almost a decade and a half as CHRO at Leviton Mfg., The Marcum Group, and The Success Academy Charter School Network, as well as co-founding Human Capital 3.0, a boutique HR advisory firm. Mark has been honored by SHRM nationally as their Human Capital Leader of the Year in 2007, and by HR Executive Magazine as an Honor Roll recipient in 2010 and “Best HR Ideas” in 2012. His HR teams have garnished numerous national and local awards for HR innovation, wellness, and employee engagement. Mark speaks regularly at national conferences. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi’s Graduate School of Business.

Comments 2

    1. My Error was not preparing some background for a conference call where I was asked about HR software choices. I went from memory, but failed to do appropriate background on one of the choices of software that had been acquired last yr. I made an incorrect statement to a couple of newly minted analysts…I recovered and corrected my information…but my initial statement was not correct…and I know better to prep for calls…Preparation is always and important and should never be glossed over…even when you are senior in your role….

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