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  • Writer's pictureMark Olivito

When Teams Watch Each Other’s Back

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

In business, as in sports, there is simply nothing more powerful than a team of talented players working towards the same goal.


There is nothing more powerful than a team of talented players, working towards the same goal, THAT HAS EACH OTHER’s Back.

The Yankees are my team outside of business. People often take shots at the Yankees because their payroll is always tops in the league, fueled by the biggest market and the overwhelming success of their own TV network (YES). Their standard is always the highest in the land: Championship or Bust.

It is easy to be spoiled as a Yankee Fan. They will never get out-spent. Their history is deep, with some of the most iconic figures in sports history. But any great team realizes that there are no guarantees, regardless of money, luck in the draft or good fortune of player health.

Games are won on the field, not on paper. If the team does not play together and have each other’s back, the championship will not be won. Period. Every year, how a team “gels” is usually the hardest thing to predict. Chemistry matters. It is also hard to measure.

Chemistry may not be everything needed to make a good team great, but it is pretty darn close.

I still remember a night in May, over 15 years ago.

May 15, 1998. One of the ugliest brawls in major league baseball history. Yankees vs. Orioles in the house of that Ruth Built.

“You don’t throw at Tino Martinez; the Yankees have shown that before.”

Guess what, if you were an opposing pitcher, you would be a fool to throw at ANY Yankee on this team.

When I watched this video there were some faces that stand out. Graham Loyd. Joe Girardi. Jeff Nelson. Scott Brosious. Daryl Strawberry. Joe Torre. Paul O’neill. A couple were super stars, but most simply were role players. Their anger is palpable.

One of their players went down, and they simply were not going to stand for that.

If you are a Yankee Fan, you knew the teams in the late ’90’s had a degree of heart and chemistry that was special, and some say it’s been missing ever since.

Great teamwork, and the chemistry that results is a difference maker in the pursuit of EXCELLENCE. Hard to measure, hard to quantify. Just like HEART. CARING. Being invested in a goal bigger than your OWN.

In business, Leadership is about developing, listening and inspiring those around you to play like a team. And it starts with each team member watching over each other’s back.

When the team collectively agrees that they won’t stand for “Throwing at Tino,” sleep well. Great results always follow.
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