There’s an old baseball saying that you are what the back of your baseball card says you are.

I started collecting baseball trading cards at about 9 years old. Baseball became my favorite sport at that time. I collected cards for about another 15 years before petering out, but still kept my collection.

While no longer my favorite sport, I still love baseball. The axiom about the back of the card still rings true.

Allow me to explain…

The front of the baseball card has the picture of the player either modeling a playing position like pitching or hitting; or has them in some game action shot (those were my favorites).

The back of the card is filled with statistics, normally showing the previous few seasons, along with a career stat line.

The baseball season is long and often players might either get out of the gates slowly or come out like a house on fire. Over the 162 game season, inevitably there would be a natural course correction and the player’s stats would be about what their career averages on the back of their baseball card showed.

Baseball has always been a game that demands patience by fans. In the glory days of baseball between 1920 to about the mid 1980’s, patience was more easily given in baseball, as well as in business and life.

Football eventually became the dominant American sport and the shorter seasons left no time for patience. Every throw or run became crucial to win a very important game.

We live in a world of instant results being demanded; where patience being a virtue doesn’t mean as much, if at all.

My opinion is that more than ever, we must practice even more patience to be successful.

Companies have a “back of the baseball card.” So do individuals, both employers and employees. Those businesses and humans that have a track record of success often need to be shown patience for them to do do what they do so well.

That also means allowing newer people the chance to create the their own stat lines. In an environment where staffing is a challenge and everyone is hiring, encouragement, mentoring, coaching, and patience may turn that rookie into a phenom that produces results year after year.

Near the end of my tenure as an employee in 2005, my sales manager mentioned that he had never seen anyone like me that seemed to so consistently produce the same “stat line” in sales every year. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, wanting me to exceed those stats by changing who I was.

I stopped working there shortly after. I took my game on my own, trusting that my consistency would continue to reap positive results for my clients and myself. I trusted the back of my baseball card.

That was 17 years ago.

You and your company are probably doing something very well that is repeatable and consistent. Those skills and behaviors, along with the right amount of patience, will also pay dividends for others.

It may not always seem like it, but patience is still a virtue. Trust the back of your card for consistent results and growth in business and life.

Keep chasing unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

~ Charles Swindoll, 20th century American clergyman

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