When it comes to building trust, in business or in baseball, it’s arguably the most critical component of a team’s success. In my years of experience as a sports broadcaster, trust has consistently been the make-it-or-break-it element on the diamond. As a motivational speaker, it’s a topic my audiences always want to explore in more detail. Baseball teaches so many lessons about trust it isn’t just fun to find parallels to the corporate boardroom, it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Rounding the Bases is my podcast about leadership and culture with a baseball twist. One recent interview brought a Major League discussion about America’s pastime and the impact of the pandemic on building trust. My guest was a media legend in the making and also someone I’m fortunate enough to count among my friends.
He’s someone who – like me – aspired to become a sports broadcaster, and has also been lucky enough to make that dream his reality. In the world of sports media, he’s nothing short of a trailblazer, even if he wouldn’t tell you so himself. He has claims to fame on both ESPN and NBC, though is best known as the voice of the Chicago White Sox. I’m joined in the virtual studio by the exuberant, quick witted Jason Benetti, the kid from the Southside who grew up to become a broadcast star in more ways than one.
SINGLE: The Color of Trust
Building trust in the world of sports announcing is just as important as building trust in business. During the pandemic, the advantage Jason had from fostering relationships with players was lost, along with his ability to connect and understand people on a human level. Analytics have a place and add value in their own way, but without any deeper conversation, the information being reported was all the same. He reflected, “In a world that needs colors and hues and shading, we had none of that. We were all stick figures. And that killed me.”
DOUBLE: Curiosity Wins
Some reporting is in pursuit of a headline, but Jason’s reporting is in genuine pursuit of the why. He brings a singular motive to his work, which is curiosity. In his experience, that also happens to be the very thing that matters most when building trust, in business or in baseball. While reading Judd Apatow’s book “Sick in the Head,” Jason noticed some interesting parallels between how he and the famed movie maker honed their skillsets. Both sought out the greats in their respective fields, and asked questions about how they became that way. The genuine interest is what led to a relationship, not the need for an answer.
TRIPLE: The Gift of Gravity
With great power comes great responsibility, and that is the charge of being a sports broadcaster. It’s a dream job for many, yes, but there is a certain gravity to the role as well. Every game is an opportunity to influence someone’s perception of the sport or even inspire the pursuit of something new. Without realizing it, his broadcast could be changing someone’s day, or even their life. “It’s phenomenally interesting to me,” Jason said, and a job he doesn’t take lightly.
HOME RUN: Building Trust In Your Abilities
Jason’s perspective on his career has always been influenced by a very simple principle. Make your work so good that they can’t say no. People will want to reject you, often for reasons that are entirely superficial, but if you’re really good at what you do, you’ll get hired to do it. No matter what. It’s an important lesson that can be applied to any profession, really. And if you can add value in a way that other people can’t, no matter your circumstances, you will stand out in the best kind of way.
Learn more about Building Trust in Business from Joel
Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he also brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful sports organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.