Alex Rodriguez has been a force to be reckoned with since his entry into professional baseball in 1993. His stats are undeniable. Rodriguez is considered one of the best all-around baseball players of all time. He is the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs, breaking the record Jimmie Foxx set in 1939, and the youngest to hit 600, besting Babe Ruth’s record by over a year. Rodriguez has fourteen 100-RBI seasons in his career, more than any other player in history. On September 24, 2010, Rodriguez hit two home runs, surpassing Sammy Sosa’s mark of 609 home runs, and became the all-time leader in home runs by a player of Hispanic descent. But whether or not you agree with the calls for his ouster behind his declining performance and most recently his antics flirting with a fan in the stands, Rodriguez reminds us that perception is important.
A leader understands that it’s not all about me. A leader understands that the team needs me as a member of the unit. A leader gets that, yes, there are people on the team that perform better and that may get more attention but it is how that star performer deals with the extra attention that could help or hurt the morale and inevitably the performance of the team. A-Rod, as he is affectionately known as, has vacillated when it comes to understanding these leadership precepts. No one is perfect or infallible. However, when your team needs you, it might help if you can keep your eye on the ball and nothing else. Or at least give us the impression that you are doing so. Because one thing you can never fault Steve Jobs for is letting you think that even in the midst of cancer he was yet capable of winning — winning more share of market, winning more share of consumers’ affinity for his company’s products, and even winning his battle against pancreatic cancer. I personally thought he was a superhero and totally capable of taking cancer down like he does his competition.
Though Jobs eventually succumbed to the disease, his winning streak still lives on in his legacy and TEAM APPLE’s performance. A-Rod may need to use his iPad and crack open Jobs’ memoir and see through Jobs’ example that though image is not everything it sure does matter when you are the leader of a team.