Why Character Matters in Baseball and Business


There's so much to celebrate this week — St. Patrick’s Day, spring-like weather in Wisconsin…and the imminent return of baseball now that players and owners have reached a new collective bargaining agreement.

Nobody at SRH is happier about avoiding another Major League strike than our Accounts Director and resident baseball coach & expert Jeff Ohm. This week he delivers part 3 of 3 of business insights inspired by the book Bochy Ball! The Chemistry of Winning and Losing in Baseball, Business, and Life by Bruce Bochy, the former manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Here is Jeff’s post on Character:

In previous Dispatch articles, I shared a few thoughts on how CULTURE and CHEMISTRY on a baseball team translate into high-functioning teams in our workplaces too.

Today I share some final insights on how and why CHARACTER is at the core of it all.


At almost all levels of play, baseball has become a game of numbers. Stats.

Production, as they say, is paramount.

But for the former World Series champion San Francisco Giants, they knew that the human beings playing on the team were more than a series of quantifiable numbers.

To build their championship-winning teams, they not only looked for on-field talent, but they also cared deeply about their players’ off-the-field intangibles, their CHARACTER. It’s something I constantly stress with our youth players.

  • “Championship Blood” — Players and co-workers with Championship Blood are scrappy. When they face defeat, they never stop trying. When they are exhausted, they don’t quit on each other. When they say “I’ve got your back,” they mean it.

  • We Before Me — High character players and teammates are willing to sacrifice for the good of the team.

  • Love to Get Better — High character players are in a constant state of improvement. They understand that every day, what they do affects others.

  • Present and Prepared — When players with high character are at practice their concentration level is remarkable. When they are there, they are there.

  • Grit and Resolve — When you’re around high character people who show emotional control, it’s like osmosis; it permeates the dugout (workplace) and makes everyone better.

  • Thrive on Uncertainty — A team, player or co-worker, that is flexible and willing to adapt provides so many more options to be creative and imaginative. A team willing to do whatever it takes provides the capacity to change even before change is needed.

What about your team’s character? Ask yourself:

  • How do your players see themselves in the world? Are they the center of the universe or are they part of something even bigger?

  • Do their egos need feeding or do they naturally convey a graciousness toward others?

  • Are they all about their own numbers or more concerned about what’s going on with the rest of the team?

  • Do they focus their energy on their rights or their responsibilities?