They Operate at a Higher Level
Jim Fregosi was my business partner in the 60’s. I was dirt poor and he was making millions playing shortstop for the California Angels. Jimmy made a comment to me at lunch one day that has stuck with me all these years, and gives me goose bumps every time I repeat it.
We were having lunch and Jimmy commented that he has to get out to the ball park to take batting practice. I said, “Why do YOU have to take batting practice, you have been hitting baseballs all of your life?”
Jimmy said, “We don’t take batting practice to learn how to hit the ball, we all know how to hit the ball. We take batting practice to get our minds into tonight’s game. On the way to the ball park I have a little bit of little Jimmy on my mind and a little bit of last night’s game, but to play at this level you can’t have anything else on your mind than tonight’s game. When we get suited up and take practice it transforms our minds from home and everything else into why we are here tonight.”
Jimmy not only knew HOW to do his job, but he understood WHY. When you know HOW to do a job you can keep it, when you know WHY you can be the boss.
Sure enough, when Jimmy got too old to hit baseballs (at that level) he became the manager of the California Angels. He later went on to manage The Phillies and several other major league baseball teams.
I have never forgotten Jimmy’s wise words and often ask myself and others, “What level are YOU playing at?” Are YOU working in the minors or the majors?