Baseball Legend Jim Morris: Here’s How to Build a Winning Team

The true story behind Disney’s ‘The Rookie’ inspires business leaders to build supportive, winning teams at NSCA’s 18th Annual Business & Leadership Conference in Dallas.

Tim Albright

Jim Morris has led an extraordinary life. As he stepped onstage at NSCA‘s 2016 Business & Leadership Conference he laid it all out—the good and the bad. Morris is the high school science teacher and baseball coach the Disney movie “The Rookie” is based on.

In 1999 Morris was coaching a team in a small Texas town that had never won their division. As Coach Morris encouraged his team they made a deal with him; if they won the division then he would try out for a professional baseball team. It was a dream Morris had walked away from not a decade earlier “because of injury and immaturity.”

Throughout his talk, Morris talked about dream builders and dream killers. According to him, his parents were dream killers. So was a certain high school football coach and guidance counselor. However, at 15-years-old a young Morris met his first and most important dream builders, his grandparents.

One piece of advice that Morris shared from his life of baseball and influence was to “surround yourself with really good people.” This is true in life and it’s true in your business.

Related: Jim Morris Urges Return to Old-School Business

This may be simplistic but we need to be reminded even of the simplest things sometimes. As you are building and growing your business you need those around you that believe in you and in your business. Getting rid of dream killers is a great first step in freeing yourself of those around you who will bring you down.

The next step is to replace those with dream builders. These are not “Yes” employees who blindly tell you that every word uttered from your mouth is gold. These are people who believe in you, the business and your mission. They believe in you so much, and believe your company can reach the heights you have set for it, that they will push and challenge you.

As Morris closed his talk, he said of his winning high school baseball team, “when I pushed them, they pushed back,” which ultimately led him to play in the major leagues.

Get rid of the dream killers around you and build your team with dream builders. You, and your business, will be better for it.

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