Pujols Trade Take-Away

Everyone wants to feel needed, appreciated, like a valuable member of the team. Even dudes who get nine figures for being good at baseball.

Jose Reyes is a very good baseball player who recently signed a six-year $106 million deal with the Florida Marlins. “The Marlins,” Reyes said, “showed me a lot of love.” Asked about the team that signed him when he was 16, he said, “The Mets didn’t make a real offer, so that means they don’t want me there. I need to move on.”

Albert Pujols is a decent player too. He just inked a ten-year $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Next to Disneyland Between Katella and Orangewood. Gregg Doyel’s disappointment, “Pujols could have had it all, but instead he chose $254 million,” makes perfect sense on the surface—Pujols would have always been beloved in St. Louis if had he settled for their $220 million.

One problem though. The handful of superstars at the top of each sport always want to be paid more than their peers. Their salaries are their measuring sticks, not fleeting fan appreciation. No coincidence he signed for $2m more than ARod’s old contract.

Unreal isn’t that even guys who make $100-200k per baseball game don’t feel appreciated by their teams when another dude somewhere else makes a little more? Even more than unappreciated, they feel “disrespected”.

As I wrote previously about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, everyone wants to feel needed, appreciated, like a valued member of the team. How can those of us who supervise, manage, or coach others create environments where each person feels like an integral part of the whole, like their contributions are important?

A friend of mine, a high school principal, interviewed a grad student of mine for a math position which she got. During the interview process he learned she had a thing for Diet Coke. He told me he got a small fridge, filled it with Diet Coke, and put it in her classroom for her.

An admittedly subtle example, but maybe small, but thoughtful gestures like that are what make the difference in the end. Even when there’s a pay scale in place, like in public school districts, people want to feel like others care that they’re at work, are aware of and appreciate their effort, and genuinely miss them when their gone. My principal friend gets that. What other examples are there of supes, managers, bosses, or coaches getting it?