Moneyball or the Universal Healing on What You Have Control Over
Last week we organized a bowling event as part of our efforts to improve group dynamics at our company. Well, needless to say that many of us had either never played before or only had very little experience in bowling – and I certainly would say that I belong to the latter group – while some others could be called pros of the game. We tried to create teams of equal strength to make it more fun for everyone so we established three categories: total beginners, intermediate and folks who knew how to play. I self-assessed myself as fitting into the second group. Well, first round of the game came about and it was time for me to bowl and just as I internally had feared the ball hit the side barrier and my first try thus didn’t count. I sighed and told myself – “told you so, you are a loser, period!” With this thought rushing through my head I bowled again and so that I could just prove myself, I of course also bowled this one right passed each and every pin so that I had a big fat ‘zero’ t o show for after my first round. I really tried to shrug it off and tell myself that I would do better next round, but internally I thought to myself, o boy o boy, you cannot even effing bowl. He had no clue as to how to go about this but he knew what the challenge was and that he had to do things fundamentally differently to how they had operated before. Dismissing all of his team’s management efforts and suggestions to simply continue with the way they knew best – the old way – he eventually – (I do not believe in luck only in the power of creation!!) – stumbled across Peter Brand, a young economics graduate working in the back office of a big name competing team in the franchise who was convinced that certain sidelined players had a hidden value. It is this hidden value that Beane and Brand went to use to build a winning team. They shifted the focus of the game from pitching and batting to whether a player was simply able to get to first base, period. This philosophy is called sabermetrics. Without getting too much into detail, this system is able to identify players that get the job done, i.e. make it to base one, irrespective of their other qualities or inadequacies.
He had the vision that this system could beat the big boys, persistently pursued his goal and had the belief that he would get there. I am sure this was not an easy task at all for him – persuading the management and his team to follow his vision and to buy into a model that no one else had tried out before must have been very draining on him. His system didn’t work out right away either. Constant changes and some fine tuning throughout the season gradually helped create the team that beat the record for most consecutive wins in the game’s history. Billy is a prime example that even when you are really down and your livelihood and reputation and future are at stake that you can come out as a winner by simply focusing on areas that you have control over. And if you do not know what it is that you have control over then ask yourself over and over again until you do. Given what we can learn from Billy I would highly recommend everyone to watch the movie – you might find inspiration in it. Basically, when it comes down to it, I did the exact same thing when I hit rock bottom two years ago – what are my skill sets and what is it that I know? By changing the frequencies that I was vibrating at the mind frame I was in and focusing on a future that I desire I was able to create the lifestyle I am enjoying today. If I can do it, I am sure you can, too.