Why Theo Epstein Rocks
Successful people, consistently successful people, understand the difference between process and results. A recent article in the Boston Herald about Theo Epstein, the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, shows that Theo understands this principle well. It is the primary reason behind the consistent competitiveness of the Boston Red Sox since the beginning of the Epstein Era. I love this team more than ever because it has become such a model of scientific excellence, marketing genius, innovative management, and patient execution.
Are you judging your personal, professional, and organizational results on a superficial basis? Do you just ask, “Did it work?” When the results are great, people celebrate. When the results don’t meet expectations, people panic or start pointing fingers. I think that’s the typical response. Very much like the New York Yankees under the reign of King George Steinbrenner. It’s the reason why turnover was so horribly high, Brian Cashman and Joe Torre being the exceptions.
Process over results. You should be asking, “Regardless of the results, did we go through the right process?” Design the right process and you can confidently stick to it. The results will still be highly uncertain but you won’t blame yourself for random effects outside your control. You’ll also be able to stay faithful to a good process despite less than stellar results.