Derek Jeter – 5 Keys to Leadership Success

On Sunday, September 28, 2014, Derek Jeter put his uniform on for the last time. Jeter finishes his baseball career with a .310 batting average, the sixth-most hits in history (3,465), 14 All-Star selections and 5 World Series rings.

Like most Yankee fans in their mid-30′s, seeing Derek Jeter’s entire career in pinstripes has been nothing short of amazing. I even had the privilege to meet Jeter back in 1996 at the Javits center in NYC.

No matter what profession you work in, we all can benefit from “El Capitan”. I’d like to share 5 keys to becoming a successful leader:

1. C – ONSISTENCY - Jeter’s middle name is consistency. Actually, its “Sanderson”, but it might as well be. No. 2 played in at least 140+ games 16 times over his 20 year career and every defensive game at shortstop, the most demanding spot on the field besides catcher.

Jeter showed up for work everyday. He was consistent and reliable.

To be a leader, you need to be present.

2. H – UMILITY - During his final game in pinstripes, the crowd would not stop chanting “Thank You, Derek.” In his post-game interview, Jeter stated “I want to thank everyone here. I’ve said it time and time again. Everybody, the fans, are saying, ‘Thank You, Derek.’ I’m saying to myself, ‘For what?’ I’m just trying to do my job. Thank you guys.”

Jeter never put his personal accomplishments (although there are many) over his team or the fans. He is as humble as they come.

A leader must be humble to gain the respect of the team and peers.

3. A – WESOME - Jeter is often called “Mr. November” or “Captain Clutch”. Why? Because he is awesome, especially when it counts. In addition to leading in postseason hits and plate appearances, Jeter ranks first in playoff games played, runs scored, total bases, singles, doubles, is tied for first in triples, third in home runs, fourth in RBIs, fifth in walks, and sixth in stolen bases. Yes, Jeter has been blessed with the opportunity to play in many postseason games, but he rises to the challenge every time. So, it didn’t surprise me one bit, that his final at-bat in pinstripes was a walk-off.

When opportunity knocks, a leader will be there to answer and deliver like a champ.

4. M – OTIVATING - “This guy is amazing, and he makes the players around him so much better.” said Analyst Kevin Millar.

A leader has the ability to bring out the best in his teammates and no one did it better than Jeter. Think of players like Paul O’Neill, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez. Would they have been as successful without the support of the yankee captain? Probably not.

A leader doesn’t need to be the best, just the ability to make his team better.

5. P – ASSIONATE - “I know there are a lot of players that have much more talent throughout my career. But I can honestly say that I don’t think anyone played harder. Maybe as hard, but not harder.” Jeter said.

I don’t know too many people, if any, who would argue with that statement. No doubt Jeters passion for the game of baseball contributed much to his success. He loved his job.

To be a great leader, you need to love what you do.

As a die hard Yankee fan, this past week has been kind of bittersweet. I’m sad it’s Jeter’s last year, but happy I had the opportunity to see his entire career.

It’s no coincidence these five keys spell C-H-A-M-P!

What quality do you look for in a leader? What’s your favorite Derek Jeter moment? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.