In a day and time when there are thousands of books, podcasts, videos, and conferences centered around leadership, you really need to look no further than Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy as he is an expert in the field. He has not only put on a masterclass this postseason in leadership and shown yet again how high his baseball IQ is, but he held a team together during the regular season when it seemed like things were slipping away.
There was a time in early September that the Rangers were on the outside looking in, as far as the playoffs are concerned. After being in first place for most of the season, they had not only dropped out of first in the AL West but had fallen behind both the Astros and the Mariners. It was a tough time for the team, as it seemed like the work that they had done all season long was going to fall by the wayside at the last moment.
Bruce Bochy was the difference maker in Texas Rangers turnaround season
It takes a special person to be able to manage and lead a team in both the regular season and then in the playoffs. The games, circumstances, and what is at stake is much different. Bochy is able to navigate the 162 up and down grind of the regular season with ease, and then is able to change gears into playoff mode.
Every time a player on this Rangers team is asked about their manager, they say the same thing. They talk about how he is the same guy during the winning streaks as he is during the losing streaks. And we all know that this team has had its fair share of both. There is no deviation from his demeanor and that goes a long way in leadership. When players are not sure what they are going to get when they show up to the clubhouse, that can make for an uneasy feeling that leads to subpar performances.
Bochy is going into the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible, that is a given. He has amassed a resume that is on the same level of the legends of the game. From now being the third manager to take three different organizations to the World Series (first to win an LCS with each club), to being 6-0 in win or go home games, and 3-0 in Game 7s alone, there is little he hasn't done in the game of baseball. He has three World Series titles, and did so with the same organization, but with very differently constructed teams.
Instead of having a system and trying to force players into that box, he manages and leads the team that he has in front of him. I have to think that much of this skillset came from being a catcher in the major leagues. No position requires a player to work with different types of people more than catcher. His steady presence when he was playing has clearly carried over into his management style and it has proven to be a recipe for success.
Anyone looking for lessons on leadership should strongly consider studying the career and style of Bruce Bochy. Every leader is slightly different, but replicating many of his best practices would be beneficial for everyone involved. Be the same every day, love your people, and work hard. Good advice for us all.
The World Series awaits and there will be more opportunities for Bochy to lead the troops through some more battles and one more war this season. There is no one that is more qualified or that the Rangers would rather have at the helm. Bochy is the man leading the charge, and for that we should all be thankful. Enjoy the ride!