When it comes to bench strength no one beats the New York Yankees. Whether you cheer for them or against them, you know that year after year, they employ the best talent in Major League Baseball. Just when you think they have the near-perfect roster, they add yet another must have player.
Let’s face it the Yankees approach to personnel is a far-cry from the approach of most non-profit organizations.
Yes, of course I realize that the Yankees are dealing with a totally different kind of budget. Clearly, they have a payroll that is at likely 100 times the total operating budget of most non-profits. They can offer salaries that make other MLB teams envious not to mention non-profit organizations!
But, take the dollars out of the equation. There is something to be learned from the Yankees.
The Yankees have a keen sense of talent. When they see a third-baseman who is batting .300, they don’t think, “We already have a third-baseman.” They think, “Let’s get this guy.” And then they figure out how to best fit him into the line-up.
Recently, we have seen a couple local non-profits take a page from the Yankee’s book. In each case, the organization crossed paths with a talented professional with strong community connections. Neither organization had a particular position open, but they had the “let’s get this guy (in one case the "guy" was a female)” attitude of the Yankees.
And, they both did a very bold, very un-non-profit like thing. They both hired the talent with the belief that they would strengthen their respective organizations. They acted from a position of strength instead of a more typical non-profit position of scarcity. Neither organization could truly afford to make these hires, but they ultimately decided that they could not afford to miss them.
As one executive director said, “If we don’t hire this guy, somebody else definitely will. I would rather have him on our team.” I bet George Steinbrenner has said those words a time or two.
Only time will tell if these bold hiring decisions will pan out. If I were a betting woman, I know I definitely would not bet against them.
I applaud these organizations for taking a risk. It is something we should do more of in the non-profit world. To bring the baseball analogy full-circle, you will never hit a homerun if you don’t swing the bat. Deep down I know these local non-profits have hit a homerun with their new hires and I look forward to celebrating with them when they do!
Have you even acted like a Yankee in a Little League uniform? Share your own bold hiring story. Join our conversation.