From Worst to Best

From Worst to Best

My Sunday evening ritual is to watch 60 Minutes and usually eat carbs with a glass of wine, but that is not necessarily relevant. This week, there was a segment that caught my eye on the Chicago Cubs and how they went about breaking the longest championship drought in professional sports (108 years to be exact) without a World Series Victory.

As I was watching, I knew that I would write an article on Chicago Cubs’ president, Theo Epstein and Manager Joe Maddon’s five-year strategy.


Epstein explained that they had to start from scratch. In 2011 the cubs were the oldest, most expensive, and worst team in the division.

He started at the draft that instead of recruiting young pitchers, he focused on strong hitters and players with strong character. Hitters apparently are less injury prone, making them a safer bet, and Epstein felt position players with strong character could help change the organizational culture, something he thought necessary to have a winning season.

Why Character? I will let Epstein say it, “Players that tend to respond to adversity the right way, and triumph in the end are players with strong character. If you have enough guys like that in the clubhouse you have an edge on the other team…”

PEO is a business with a lot of adversity inherent in it, and I have a feeling those PEOs that have an edge over their competition have a lot of position players with strong character in their clubhouse.

I managed Human Resource teams at a PEO for many years, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms I would take a position player with strong character in the 11th hour of open enrollment, or year-end rush, any day over a high paid all-star. It is not even a question.

Epstein went on to explain that while he once did not buy into character, it changed when he realized that looking back, whenever remarkable things occurred, it was because the players did not want to let each other down.

PEO is beyond dynamic especially for those on the front line servicing their clients, when you have someone with strong character, they will go through fire to ensure that their client is taken care of, have enough of those players, you have retention, and in PEO, Retention Wins Ball Games.