I was revisiting some fun baseball shenanigans this morning and realized just how important it is to keep learning.
Albert Pujols, one of baseball’s best hitters, was struck out by a softball pitcher, Jennie Finch, in a challenge a number of years ago:
Is Albert Pujols good at baseball? Yes
Is he a good batter? Yes
So he is good at hitting oncoming spheres at high velocity? Sometimes. A little change in angle and velocity can make a big difference.
Batting is certainly a strength of Albert Pujols, but his skill set doesn’t transfer immediately to softball. In a fast changing business environment the “pitches” might change, and a strength may suddenly fail to serve us. Similarly if we fail to recognize the challenges facing us, we might put the wrong person at the plate or find ourselves there unprepared.
The key is what Mr. Pujols says at the end of the video. “Next year hopefully they bring it back and I will be ready for it.” He immediately recognized the need to learn and to prepare in order to be successful in the future.
How do we adjust the skills and talents that we have to fit different needs? Are you training yourself, and your people if you have them, to be able to handle unexpected challenges and new opportunities? Keep building your skill set and never stop learning. Read books, listen to a podcast, take online programs, have lunch with people who have the skills you are trying to build and learn from them. Ways to grow are only limited by your imagination, and there is a whole internet there to help if that falls short. There is always something you can do to prepare yourself for the curveballs of life, and the softballs.