Ninety percent of [leadership] is half mental.

Yogi Berra, the baseball hall of fame catcher, was well known for his malapropisms. Less appreciated is the leadership wisdom behind some of his finest “Yogi-isms.”

The following excerpt was taken from a list published by the good folks at PeopleTek Coaching. In Mike Kublin and co.’s words:

Yogi’s wit was often viewed with humor, and is actually thought provoking and useful for leadership. Here are some of his most commonly quoted quips with additional thoughts that we added:

If you don’t know where you’re going, you wind up someplace else – Do you have a shared strategy? Do all behaviors support yours (or that of your organizations) vision, mission, and goals? Is there a development plan/roadmap in place that addresses gaps and obstacles?

It ain’t over till it’s over – things don’t always go as planned. What could you change? Persist and persevere until you obtain your desired results.

The future ain’t what it used to be – expect and plan for change. What will inspire and increase results? Are you innovative? Are you keeping up with or better yet ahead of your competitors?

You can observe a lot by watching – pay attention to what’s going on around you. What’s happening in your organization? In your industry? How’s your staff? What about your customers, vendors, and co-workers?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it – make a decision and move forward. Indecisiveness will stifle progress and create complacency and stagnation.

There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em – not everyone is receptive to feedback and willing to learn new things. Pay attention to the resistors; tough decisions may need to be made.

Thanks PeopleTek Coaching for the great list and insight. One could go on and on with so many Yogi quotes. I’ll close with this:

“You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what is left.”
— Yogi Berra on entrepreneurship (well actually baseball)

Leave a Reply