What Business Owners Can Learn from The Kansas City Royals?
Business is a journey and constant work. Some seasons are profitable while others barely break even. Sometimes there are even losses. Certainly we have seen this with the Royals over the years. At times the stands are bare, others a respectable representation and sometimes it’s standing room only. No matter what, the team shows up and play ball. Every game. Every season. Every weather condition. Every time. Regardless of “life” happening off the field. Perhaps the death of Oscar Taveras and the fortitude of Yordano Ventura pitching a shutout game in the World Series in spite of his friends passing is the best example. Show up. Get your head in the game and do the job.
Staff turnover happens. Plan for it. Expect it. At times, even orchestrate it. We hope we are fortunate enough to keep our team intact for 2015 and have an even better season. Reality sets in and we know that come next season our line up may look a little different. In business, it is the same way. We want to retain our staff and do everything to maximize our investment in them. Eventually, they will move on. Even our rock stars. Just as in team selection, we have to learn to hire better and with great purpose. How does each player function on the team? This can break your team or it can make a World Series caliber team.
Honor your customers at every opportunity. Ensure your staff honor your customers and your business with amazing customer service. Cultivating a culture of outrageous customer service inspires and creates intense loyalty. The Royals have certainly had fair weather fans over the years. There are also die hard, intensely loyal fans who have never missed a game. A great team inspires the whole community to rally as does a great business. One Kansas City business with such loyalty is JJ’s Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza. Restaurants, community leaders, business owners in other industries, customers- indeed the entire city- rallied behind JJ’s after the tragic explosion. Co-owner, Jimmy Frantze said it best. “We’re coming back from the ashes. I’m ready to go to work. I miss the business, I miss the people.”
When the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself seize it. As a business owner you will have innovative ideas or opportunities that are too good to pass up. You get nervous. You might even wonder if you can pull it off. Until you do. Then the celebrations is out of this world. As the Royals began their post-season series they didn’t know they would have the longest post-season winning streak in Major League Baseball history, go on to win the wild card game after twelve innings, and ended the season playing all 7 games of the 2014 World Series. Seize the opportunity and NEVER give up!
Never lose sight of who you are and where you came from. Keep it humble. Keep it classy. Keep it honorable. The integrity you operate your business with in good times and bad ultimately determine the sustainability of your business. Be comfortable with what you are and what you aren’t. There is something unique about your business that no one else can replicate. Embrace that and stay true to it. The Royals have heart. They inspire loyalty. I once interviewed Royals Hall of Fame member, Frank White-former second baseman. Frank grew up in Independence, helped build the stadium and played for his hometown team. Frank told me, “Through it all, I will always love the Royals”. That’s inspiring!
The Royals lost the final game of the 2014 World Series and yet the next day they celebrated with the entire city, at “The K” and at small ball fields like the one at Tiffany Springs. They love Kansas City and Kansas City loves them. Isn’t that what you want to cultivate for your business?