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Pick Me Out a Winner, Bobby

Pick Me Out a Winner, Bobby

by Frank Roche on October 14, 2008

in Engagagement

One of my favorite films is “The Natural.” And as I get older, it becomes even more poignant. It’s the story of an aging baseball player who has one final and glorious season. More than that, though, it’s about being uplifted.

One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) breaks his homemade bat in the bottom of the 9th inning. “Pick me out a winner, Bobby,” he says to the batboy. And the batboy fetches Hobbs the “Savoy Special,” a bat that he and Hobbs made together. It’s a link of old and new, glory and future glory.

Know why I’m thinking about “The Natural” right now? It’s because the Philadelphia Phillies, my home team, are one win away from going to the World Series. I watched too many baseball games this year, and I’ll happily watch a few more. The feeling in this city is fantastic.

We went to Fado, an Irish bar on 15th Street, last week to watch the Friday game. The place was packed at 4PM and everyone was there to root on the Phils. It was great. There’s something sublime about having a common purpose and something to cheer.

Which leads me to an HR pondering: What do we do to make our employees — all of them, not just the high potentials or favorites — get a feeling that they’re part of something great? I know that’s touchy-feely stuff, but it’s real. It’s visceral. It rallies people.

I know you can’t all have a chance to go to the World Series for the first time in 15 years. I’m just thinking it would be really great to go for a big win of some kind and have your people be proud of what you’re doing and who you are. There has to be something. I know there is. Meanwhile, I say, “Go Phils!”

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