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Leadership accountability that may move you to tears… True Story

Umpire As many of you know who follow this blog regularly, I love to post positive and inspirational leadership stories. This particular story I want to share touched me in a lot of different ways. There is power in doing the right thing regardless of how difficult it may be.

On June second of this year, Armando Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was one out from pitching a perfect game; something that is rare in major league baseball. However on the last out the first base umpire Jim Joyce ruled the runner safe, putting an end to Galarraga's quest for a perfect game. Joyce believed he made the right call until he saw the replay for himself after the game; the replays showed the runner was clearly out and that Galarraga should have got credit for a perfect game. Joyce, the umpire, immediately went to the 28-year-old pitcher from Venezuela after the game and apologized for getting the call wrong.

Holy cow, backup, rewind… let me say that again. The umpire, Joyce, went and apologized for getting the call wrong. That is accountability in all of its purest glory folks!

And then Galarraga turned around and forgave him for blowing a call that cost him something he may never ever do in his career again; throw a perfect game. "He probably feels more bad than me," Galarraga said. "Nobody's perfect. Everybody's human. I understand. I give the guy a lot of credit for saying, 'I need to talk to you.' You don't see an umpire tell you that after a game. I gave him a hug."

Wow! I love it when people take accountability. And I love it when people forgive. Whether it is my kids, friends, umpires or leaders, I love watching people do the right thing because it is the right thing. Taking accountability for one's actions builds huge trust dividends. Do you think feelings of trust and respect for Joyce have improved across Major League Baseball? Absolutely! It's interesting how when we try not to cover up our pride we become people of character that others genuinely love and respect.

Thank you to both Jim Joyce, an accountable umpire and Armando Galarraga, a forgiving professional athlete. You have taught us and left a legacy as leaders that is worth way more than nine innings of perfect baseball.

To view more, including links to a video of a tearful moment between Joyce and Galarraga the next day, and quotes and discussions on leadership accountability go to our Facebook Fan page. The videos will move you. Click on the image below.

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More Posts of Stories and Tips on Accountability

Here is a true story where a leader took accountability at a Domino's Pizza Store. I love this video. "Leadership and Bad Customer Service Video from Domino's Pizza Store." Click here.

Want to improve accountability on your team. Here is a post that might be helpful. Click here "Celebrity Apprentice – Lessons in Leadership? Maybe."

Mike Rogers

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  • Scott Vest

    Thanks for the excellent thoughts Mike. I was sick about the perfect game being ruined when I saw it that night on Sportscenter. You’re right, Joyce really stepped up as a leader and demonstrated accountability. I appreciate you sharing.

  • http://katenasser.com Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

    Nice stated and a wonderful connection to leadership, teamwork, and accountability. So often people think of accountability as just “blame”.
    Yet when you can see the simple power of ownership and accountability, you can see the limitless possibilities for work, society, and yes maybe even a better world.
    The extra beauty in this was the “empathy” that he felt for the ump. Empathy is an inspiration for teamwork and service that is unparalleled by any other motivational factor.
    Here’s a post on empathy to expand discussion on this. I welcome your comments there as well.
    ——
    http://katenasser.com/empathy-in-customer-care-lose-your-fear/
    Best wishes and thanks again for this post.
    Kate Nasser
    Thanks for post this. Truly great reminder.

  • http://www.teamworkandleadership.com Mike Rogers

    Thanks both Scott and Kate.
    Kate, thanks for helping me reflect on what a better place the world would be if more people took accountability and if we would feel more empathy. Love, respect, trust etc… would multiply – what a better world it would be! Thanks.
    Mike Rogers

  • http://profile.typepad.com/surveys 360surveys

    I really admire this umpire and the actions that he took. It is so hard to admit when we make mistakes, and it is only harder on a national stage. I admire his apologetic approach and the way that he immediately addressed the problem with the pitcher as well as the media.
    Major props to a classy individual.

  • http://www.teamworkandleadership.com Mike Rogers

    Great points 360surveys! It is even harder on a national stage. I love this story.
    Mike Rogers

Want to Know More About The Author of This Post?

I have led, trained and consulted in business with hundreds of individuals and teams on leadership and team concepts. My greatest satisfaction in life is seeing others succeed. I am currently the owner of "Teamwork and Leadership Bloggings with Michael Rogers" and OpenTheMeeting.com.

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