The Kansas City Royals: A Championship Team with Character

Introduction from Alana:

I’ve been trying to articulate just what the Kansas City Royals historic World Series win means to me and I simply cannot.  I get emotional and teary eyed and tongue-twisted whenever I try.  It’s been a remarkable KC Royals Artworkseason and I love this team.  The way the city has come together – smiles and bright eyes despite lots of late night games… everyone dressed in Royal blue day in day out throughout the month of October… the fountains throughout the city flowed blue… seeming strangers embraced at each win… family time and memories created all around a simple game of baseball.  It’s been miraculous. 

When during the ALCS games I watched as Blue Jays players shouted expletives at one another due to poor communication, I thought to myself, “Our Royals would never interact like that.  They’d talk to one another and laugh off bumps in the road.”  Then, during the final game of the World Series, as I saw Mets fans leave the stadium before the game ended, I thought, “Wow!  During Game 1, which went for 14 innings, finishing well after midnight, nobody left.  Our fans would never do that to the boys battling it out on the field.”  This team has something special going on.

Well, my friend, Teresa Moravek, helped me to put in words what my heart could not quite express in her article, “That’s What Solid Leadership ‘Do’” originally published on LinkedIn this past Monday. The word she used was “character” – YES!  That is what this team has demonstrated over and over and over again throughout the past two seasons and beyond; and it has captured the loyalty, respect and love of the nation. As such, I asked Teresa to allow me to repost her beautiful blog on CLC this month.

Teresa is the President and Owner of PERFORMANCEPOINTE, inc., a leadership development firm helping leaders of pre-rapid growth organizations connect their strengths to strategy for performance excellence.  She has also been a long-time mentor, friend and entrepreneurial educator to me.  It’s a privilege to welcome her to CLC.


Guest post from Teresa Moravek, President and Owner, PERFORMANCEPOINTE, inc.

The Kansas City Royals. They’re not just the 2015 Major League World Series Champs, they’re America’s Darlings. As our hometown team, they captured our KC hearts and most of the country’s more firmly than ever Teresa Moravek Careylast year in the quest for the Series crown. In the yearning for this year’s title, most of us in KC just couldn’t help ourselves in wearing Royal blue almost daily, talking about the players like they’re our own family and forfeiting needed sleep just to see their extra inning magic clinch a win.

In all of the talk about the team and each player, we hear less than we should about the GM and ultimate leader – Dayton Moore. His leadership mojo simply can’t be ignored in considering his time here in KC since 2006. Last night wasn’t a surprise to Moore. He saw this coming from the beginning, as he has purposely and intentionally charted the course for what it takes to earn and claim this coveted title.

You see, the Royals didn’t just win this championship because they leveraged talent, worked hard and exemplified textbook teamwork. They ultimately won because Dayton Moore has strategically over the past nine years built a culture of championship. He knew he could recruit outstanding talent over time to win. Moore also knew that talent will only take you so far in becoming the best at anything.

Dayton Moore recruited men with like values and character. How did he surmise character among batting averages, RBIs or games started? The old adage, “it takes one to know one” certainly applies here. Moore is a man of character so it was easy for him to know it when he saw it. There is always a story behind the story. What we saw in these men didn’t show up when they signed on as a Royal. They brought it with them to KC.

One thing we know in leadership development is that many things are coachable, character isn’t. If you recruit and hire a team of leaders and players with solid values, assuming everything else is equal, you can pretty much bank on character and values rolling up into a rock solid culture that will be your trump card. When people are wired to do the right thing and it comes naturally, they make the choices that give them a winning edge. They treat themselves and each other with respect, they put their teammates first, and they focus on the bigger picture organizational goals vs. their own. That’s the “Royal” culture.

Thank you, Kansas City Royals, for teaching us how real winners show up. We are grateful, Dayton Moore, for showing us what solid leadership does to combine the secret sauce of values with talent to build a world class organizational culture and team.

2 thoughts to “The Kansas City Royals: A Championship Team with Character”

  1. Teresa, your posting and Alana, your introduction are expressed very well. I think another reason we are all so happy is to see something so close to us reach the national stage. Our family moved to Kansas City in 1987 and the children grew up with the Royals. I thought of the Royals as our local team – family entertainment. Games were easy to get to, affordable, and fun. Playoffs and pressure to win championships were for those bigger city teams. So, seeing our Royals in the national picture is a happy surprise, kind of like seeing a family member you love suddenly on national TV, with celebrities.

    Dayton Moore appears to be like everything you say. In the interviews he did not sound like the wizard GM who made it all happen with his great decisions. He did nothing but give praise and credit to everyone else, especially the fans.

    Your analysis of values and character is right on. Another example that the Royals set for organizations is that every team member is valued for his contribution and almost every contribution is seen as indispensable. In the 12th inning of game 5, Perez singles. He looked happy when he was taken out for Dyson, who did what Perez could not do – steal second. Before that, Hochevar had pitched 2 scoreless extra innings. If he had faltered, the game would have been lost. The list goes on and on.

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