It’s time to keep a close eye on Jack Zduriencik.

The Seattle Mariners General Manager is near a deal to ship out All-Star left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee to the New York Yankees for three top prospects nobody outside of the depths of the baseball world ever heard about. The Mariners fans and media have been buzzing about this for the last month. There will be plenty of conjecture, speculation, and interest in what Jack has to say.

Being a leader of any organization – sports or otherwise – requires confidence in delivering a message. This year has not gone as planned and with the imminent trade, Zduriencik must now face critics after  trading away the best player on the team this year. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the media, the fans, and the players. He may say all the right things, but how he delivers it will be telling. A few things to watch for…

  • Does he appear sincere and genuine? Do you believe him?
  • Is he still positive? Does he show firm resolve?
  • How strong is his eye contact? Is he willing to hold it with questioners?
  • Is his voice consistently strong? Does he show any cracks?
  • Does he show empathy for the fans?

I will be watching as a Mariners fan and as a professional speaker to see just how skilled an “influencer” Mr. Zduriencik is. So far, I’ve been impressed. This will be his toughest test to date.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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