REALITY #26: When strong leaders need Babe Ruth, they don’t settle for Eddie the hotdog vendor.

Their organization was established after World War II to serve the needs of returning veterans.  The current board, just like those who started the organization some 75 years earlier, was still made up of sincere people wanting to serve the organization and returning veterans.  Recently they had to select a new executive director.

After numerous meetings to talk about what they should be looking for in a new exec, one of the newest members was asked to share his thoughts on their progress.  He started by sharing what the board’s discussions focused on as their major selection criteria.  They included; longevity with the organization, a local person, immediate availability, and limited financial expectations.  He then said, “Let’s put our criteria to a test.”

He explained that if Miller Huggins, the manager of the New York Yankees, had used their criteria in 1927, the outcome of that season may have been different.  That year Babe Ruth hit 60 homeruns, and the Yankees swept the World Series from the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He then said, “Using our criteria, Ruth would’ve been on the bench, if he had even made the team.”  The board somewhat stunned.

“Folks, Ruth wasn’t from New York; he was from Baltimore.  He wasn’t immediately available when he caught Huggins’s attention. He was relatively new to the organization in 192, and he had some serious financial expectations.”

“Using our criteria, the Yankees could easily have hired Eddie the hotdog vendor instead of Ruth.  Eddie was local, he had many years with the organization, he had low financial expectations, and he was immediately available. If that’s all they were looking for, Eddie could have been batting third in what became known as Murderers’ Row on what many consider to be the greatest sports team of all time.”

It’s really tough to find Babe Ruth if you have Eddie-the-hotdog-vendor expectations!