Was a meeting responsible for the Cubs winning the World Series?
Chicago–Wrigley Field

By Wayne Turmel

So, meetings are a giant waste of time, demotivate people and generally should be discouraged at all costs, right?

What if I told you how a meeting was responsible for the Cubs winning the World Series…

Got your attention now, don’t I?

In case you forgot –and there are a lot of people in Chicago whose memory of that night is a little fuzzy, so you wouldn’t be alone — the Cubs were in the process of blowing a four run lead to the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians tied the score in the ninth inning and appeared to have all the momentum. Fortunately, (for Chicago at least) Mother Nature stepped in and the rain began, resulting in a rain delay of seventeen minutes.

Everyone knows that. What happened next is the important part.

During the rain delay, everyone went into their respective club houses to stay dry. At that point, outfielder Jason Heyward called a player meeting for a little pep talk.

No bosses, no managers, just the players.

They pulled together, and as soon as they took the field, the Chicago Cubs proceeded to put two runs on the board, hold off a Cleveland comeback and win, FINALLY ridding themselves of that nasty curse that’d plagued them for 108 years.

Now, about that meeting:

  • It occurred spontaneously based on a real, very pressing need. They had to regroup and think positively. (An email wouldn’t have gotten the job done.)
  • It wasn’t called by the “boss”. This meeting was called by those most impacted—one of the players.
  • It wasn’t even called by the captain or one of the “Clubhouse Leaders.”  The title of the person requesting the meeting was irrelevant. (In fact, Jason Heyward was having a really bad season. To be blunt, he hadn’t played most of the last three games.) But he saw his role as that of someone who’s been there before, had something to contribute, and decided to step up.

Meetings aren’t in and of themselves evil. They often serve an effective purpose: to gather everyone together, assess the situation, collaborate and gather ideas, and take a deep breath before regrouping to deliver great results.

Would the Cubs have won without that meeting to rejuvenate and refocus their efforts? Maybe.

But I’m not waiting another 108 years to find out.


Wayne Turmel--The Remote Leadership Institute
Wayne Turmel, co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wayne Turmel
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager

Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.

Marshall Goldsmith calls him “one of the unique voices to listen to in the virtual workplace”. He works with organizations around the world to help people use technology to lead people and projects and build productive human connections in an increasingly remote and virtual work environment.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wayne Turmel--The Remote Leadership Institute
Wayne Turmel, co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute.

Wayne Turmel
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager

Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.

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