Dan spoke with Robert Reiss of The CEO Show and Forbes on the keys to the Royal's success in the 2015. The elements of leadership ultimately guided the club to the World Series championship. Published November 2015.
Most Mets fans, and America as a whole, were initially stunned as the Royals displayed unprecedented grit, focus and character – exemplified by becoming the first world series team ever to actually come back to win three of the games when behind after the 8th inning. What I discovered about this remarkable Royals team is that everything was actually part of a 10-year plan to transform the sport – built on the concept of a new baseball post steroid model.
Robert Reiss: The Royals had something very special going on. What makes this Royals team unique?
Dan Hesse: The Royals, the ones you see and the ones you don’t see, are a true team in every sense of the word. It’s said there’s no “I” in team. This team is a special combination on the field, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. To compare the Royals with other businesses, I think of owner David Glass as the non-executive Chair, GM Dayton Moore as the CEO, Manager Ned Yost as the COO, the players as the front-line employees, and the rest of the Royals organization as the behind-the-scenes staff support.
The off-the-field support and culture played as important a role as the talent on the field. What struck me was the way that seemingly, in every interview, the players began by talking about the team’s leadership — Dayton Moore, David Glass and Ned Yost, then mentioned their teammates.
The respect the players have for the leadership, the front office and the coaching staff is palpable. When the leadership is asked about the team’s success, they talk about the players, then about others throughout the organization. Humility pervades. Every element of the organization had a contributing role in the collective success of the Royals, and perhaps uniquely, every part of the organization appreciated and valued the contributions that those in different roles played in the team’s success.