Tony LaRussa Applies Level 3 Leadership Communication for 2011 World Series Championship

As I was watching World Series Game 7 Friday night, struggling with who to root for being that I’m historically a National League fan, yet also a big fan of Nolan Ryan and feeling the draw of wishing for success for a franchise dearth of a championship in its 50 year history, broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver mentioned veteran St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa’s approach to motivating his players for the biggest game of their lives after the team pulled off a momentum creating victory in Game 6th less than 24-hours prior.

The annals of sport history are littered with tales of coaches pre-big game motivational oratory, what I refer to as Leadership Communication Level 2. Most of these stories are depicted on Hollywood film’s such as Remember the Titans, Rudy and Miracle on Ice. Some of them are real, such as Miracle on Ice’s depiction of USA Olympic Hockey Coach Herb Brooks’ speech prior to the 1980 Olympics semi-final game against the Soviet Union, others are composites.

What doesn’t get the notoriety in these films, that are often more powerful and impactful on the successful end result of the story, is the one-on-one conversations coaches have to connect individually to their players at just the right moment. This is what I call Leadership Communication Level 3.

Now, according to the conversation between broadcasters Buck and McCarver, LaRussa, prior to 2011 World Series Game 7, did not make one of those Level 2 motivational speeches in the center of the locker room prior to heading out to the field.

No, LaRussa went around to each player individually, simply reminding them that despite their epic come-from-behind victory in Game 6 the night before, their job was not done and their focus must be on the job moving forward.

That is the difference between Leadership Communication Level 2 and Leadership Communication Level 3.

Neither is more right or wrong than the other. It depends on the situation. That’s why “situational leadership” is vitally important for leaders to master. The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication is a leadership communication strategy that allows leaders to develop a solid approach to situational leadership.

You can learn more about The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication by downloading my latest FREE white paper report (plus register to join me for a free telelcass on November 17th) at .

If you’re among the 44% of business leaders unhappy with the performance of their employees and direct reports and would like to immediately improve both the response and results you achieve with you may want to consider a Leadership Communication Strategy Session, where we will assess your present situation and identify specific strategies to address your most pressing issues and challenges with your present team so you can begin achieving higher levels of performance results.

To learn more and to schedule your private, 1:1 Leadership Communication Strategy Session, go here.

I look forward to speaking with you. ‘Til next time, make it a great week!


P.S. – In a near future blog post I’ll be commenting on LaRussa’s major mis-communication with his call to the bullpen in Game 5 that could have cost his team the Championship.