My wife and I both grew up in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. When we met as adults we shared stories of attending Cleveland Indians baseball games. Not stories about the low attendance games at the old stadium by Lake Erie like the ones in the movie Major League; but stories about the sell-out crowds at Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) during the 1990’s. Some thought the new stadium brought the crowds; it probably did for a while. But what kept the crowds coming were the team and their sustained success of five straight years in the playoffs and two World Series appearances.
How did the Jacob brothers accomplish this? They invested in building a great team with established veterans like Orel Hershiser and Dennis Martinez at the mound. They developed exciting young hitters like Albert Belle, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramierz. The Jacob brothers were successful because their team was successful. Like the famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it he will come,” they invested in building a great team and the fans came.
The path to becoming a successful leader is the same as the story of the 1990’s Cleveland Indians. Long term success in whatever you do requires that you invest in building your team. If you surround yourself with established leaders while developing the next generation of leaders, success will come.