Derek Jeter, The Anti-narcissist

If you could select any living athlete from any sport to be a member of your team whom would you choose irrespective of what business or service industry you were in?

 My choice is Derek Jeter.

For the few who don’t recognize the name he is the short-stop, the Captain, the undisputed leader of the New York Yankees, #2.

Derek is a wholly selfless person.

On the baseball field he is a leader.

Standing in front of a room full of reporters after a loss Derek does not blame teammates.

He talks only of a need to improve including his own game. He is quick to compliment players on the opposing team. His message is positive and on focus. He never elevates himself by belittling others.

Jeter’s work ethic is legendary.

At 38, considered way past prime for many athletes, especially as demanding a position as shortstop, his self effacing manner mirrors his lithe physique.

Quiet, unassuming, with immensely quick reflexes and his trademark inside out swing his perseverance is the hallmark of his success.  Accomplishing a feat as no other Yankee in their 90 year history Jeter has more hits, 3308, than any other Yankee who wore those legendary Pinstripes including Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle of bygone eras.

Imagine your business with a Jeter as your Director of Sales, your plant manager, your Attorney, your Social Worker.

Every employer wishes for a team of All Stars, Most Valuable Players, leaders like Derek Jeter. That is, when they’re not daydreaming about being Jeter themselves.

A man who is always about the team.

A player always ready to work and only misses a day or a month of work when he breaks his ankle, on the job.

A narcissist is a person preoccupied with his own greatness all absorbed in his ego that no other can be him. Jeter’s preoccupation is the greatness of his work ethic. A work specimen that comes along once in a generation. 

Jeter is Captain of the world famous New York Yankees. He could be captain today of virtually any group in any industry with little or no knowledge or skill of that profession. People follow a leader they believe in, they emulate, they trust. Leadership is all about inspiring and motivating, caring about others more than yourself, quick reflexes, keeping your mind and body in shape at the ready to work. 

A leader today teaching us leadership skills for all time.

About the Author
David Mandel is Chief Executive Officer of OHEL Children's Home and Family Services in New York