What could turn the winning percentage of a major league team from a low of 35% to the current 74% – in just two months? A great speech, that’s what.
The Oakland A’s were 12 ½ games back on June 1, and now at the beginning of August they are one game away from leading their division. The hottest team in baseball – and it all started with a speech.
“How A Speech Sparked The Surge” was the headline in the San Francisco Chronicle August 4. In early June after the sorry A’s had lost a three game series and were going downhill fast, third baseman Eric Chavez “took a stand. He delivered an emotional speech on the team bus as it left Washington’s RFK Stadium.” The rest is history, as the A’s have now won 37 out of 48.
Inspiration is personal, and it comes from passion, and comes from a person. Those who think motivational speeches and motivational speakers are all fluff and no content don’t know enough about the human mind. And emotions. Spirit drives action, and there is no better ‘spirit driver’ than a speaker inspiring the troops. The Oakland A’s just might get a championship out of it that fact.
Every CEO and business leader could learn from this. Effective executive speaking is an art, not a science. It does not include data dumps – so prevalent in business today. It does not include reading speeches either – not much emotion there. It does include passion, and action steps, and advocacy. Just like a young Eric Chavez showed us. He was probably so passionate at the time that he didn’t even need any speech training!