Last week, the Philadelphia Phillies (what a creative name) won the World Series. But, the truth is, I do not care. Why is this? I am a big sports fan and have watched quite a bit of baseball this year. Yet, when it was time for the world series, I tuned out. Based on their season and performance during the playoff, the best team probably did come out on top. Why then, did I lose interest when it came time for the greatest showing in all of baseball – the World Series? Well, I am a Boston Redsox fan. Additionally, the Dodgers had sparked my interest with an amazing turnaround under the management of formor Yankees manager, Joe Torre, and the spark provided by the addition of former Redsox player, Manny Ramirez. When each of these teams lost in the semi-finals, I also lost interest in baseball. It made no difference that the teams who had come out on top were moving on because the teams that I like were done for the year.
This has opened my eyes to something I believed, but didn’t fully understand. About a year ago, I read a book called The Likeability Factor. The book can be summed up in saying that there is an advantage in life to being liked by others. That seemed nice, but I felt that a whole hearted focus on excellence would trump the likeability factor every time. Therefore, I have always put relationships on the backburner for the sake of productivity. This year’s baseball experience has helped me to gain a better understanding of my error. While excellence, attention to detail, and productivity are very important, I am beginning to understand that they will only get you so far. Growing relationships are proving to be essential to the ultimate success of any endeavor bigger than one’s self.