Ike Davis, 1st baseman for the NY Mets hit his 2nd home run this year, a 3 run homer against the Atlanta Braves last night, possibly reversing a “slow start” to his season in grand fashion. To wit, Gary Cohen, one of my favorite sports announcers of all time commented (paraphrase here) “Ike handles both his successes and failures the same way, his demeanor does not change, he’s got the perfect personality for Major League Baseball”.
He went on to say “After all, baseball is a game of failure!”
Shocked at the statement at first, I quickly recognized how true it is. Get up to bat 3 – 4 times a game, swing the bat a minimum 12 but more often over 20 times a game, get 1 hit per game, and you are on a hitting streak to the joy of your team and fans alike. 1 Hit in 20+, IF you’re doing well!
That’s a “hit” mind you, not a home run.
The parallels’ to recruiting are obvious. Barbara Bruno (renowned recruiting trainer) uses a ratio of 20 conversations per day equals a productive day when starting out in recruiting. That’s “conversations” not calls. For 20 conversations, one could make 100+ dials in a day.
That’s “every day”.
Those outside recruiting, if they knew the “ratios” we live by would call us “crazy”, asking why would you do that… why (or how) could you stick with it, with a “failure” ratio like that?
At 4:30 AM this morning, while laying in bed awake pondering my children’s future, the bills I had to pay, the candidate I was interviewing at 8, the client meeting at 12, and whether I’d ever have enough money to retire some day, (I’m guessing I’m not alone in this ritual these days) that little voice in the back of my head reminded me, …with 1 swing of the bat today, you could change… “Everything!”
One good swing today could be the difference between a banner month, or a flop. One good swing today, could be the difference between another Disney Vacation, or a weekend at the in-laws (how’s that for incentive).
One good swing today…
Of course, we take steps to mitigate the peaks and valleys, and it’ll take more than “1 good swing total”, to close a deal, but truth is, few jobs I’ve had in my career (and I’ve had more than a few), offer the “subtle rush” locking in a solid appointment, or “adrenaline rush” closing a big deal brings.
Few jobs anywhere, offer the employee the opportunity to change “everything”, on any given day.
All you have to do, is bring with you the demeanor of a Major League Ball Player, recognizing, you’ll need to “swing, swing, swing” each and every day, knowing you will not get a hit with each up at bat, and knowing (viscerally) that that’s OK!
If you ask me, Recruiting is a game of failure, same as Major League Baseball. Like Major League Baseball, not many have the skill to survive the cut, with fewer the skills to play with the All Stars. Nor do most have the demeanor to “turn” a slow start to a season (or quarter) knowing, success can only be achieved, if you are willing and able to keep getting up to bat each and every day accepting the seemingly daunting ratio’s, and “swinging” through the blisters, and the years, till you get to the point where you really “know your pitch”.
For then and only then, will you be able to consistently “hit them out of the park”.