I learned a new lesson in accountability while in Orlando to keynote an international conference for the Turfgrass Producers International, thanks to two days with the Colorado Mesa Mavericks baseball team, ranked in the top 10 of Division II college baseball.

Nathan Whitaker and Colorado Mesa Head Coach Chris Hanks

Before their season opener against Florida Southern in Lakeland, Coach Chris “Skip” Hanks allowed me to share with their team thoughts on being a cohesive team that doesn’t take credit

However, I quickly became the one gaining wisdom from the group. Waiting for the game to start, Skip and Associate Head Coach Sean McKinney were sharing some of the program’s philosophies. I figured I’d better take notes since CMU has won more games over the last 12 years than any other program in college baseball. (I may have messed up that stat but it’s close.)

One of the items I’ll share here: DON’T TRANSFER BLAME.

Can’t blame the sun. Can’t blame the umpire. Can’t blame your coaches. Can’t blame a teammate.

Own your mistake. Learn from it. Move on.

But don’t transfer blame.

I love that! Skip notes that, sure, the sun will be an issue at times. Or the wind. Or a bad call. But everybody has to deal with that. Own it. Move on.

I stayed in the dugout all night and watched.

Nathan Whitaker and Colorado Mesa Associate Head Coach Sean McKinney

I didn’t hear it once…even when I was hanging out as far from the coaches as possible. 

And the ownership, the accountability, was positive. When a player would come back after, say, swinging at a bad pitch, there was no bat throwing (blaming the bat!) or losing his cool. Just a “yeah, I got fooled” or “I was off-balance” or whatever. Acknowledge it and move on.

AND…as a good leader should, the coaches invite players to keep them accountable. If they transfer blame, the players will step up and remind them.

Don’t transfer blame. I love it.

(And they won both games I attended. I’m not transferring credit – I’m taking total credit for both victories!)

#RumbleMavs #accountability #teambuilding #leadership 

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