DEREK JETER

Founder, The Play­ers’ Tri­bune; co-owner and CEO, Mi­ami Mar­lins

Fast Company - - Contents -

Founder, The Play­ers’ Tri­bune; Co-owner and CEO, Mi­ami Mar­lins

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL

Upon re­tir­ing from the Yan­kees in 2014, Derek Jeter launched the Play­ers’ Tri­bune, a me­dia com­pany of­fer­ing elite ath­letes a plat­form for en­gag­ing di­rectly with fans. Some of the world’s most high-profile ath­letes (from Kobe Bryant to Venus Wil­liams) have cho­sen the site to an­nounce ca­reer news and ex­plore such is­sues as racism, vi­o­lence, fam­ily strug­gles, and poverty. Now, as co-owner and CEO of the Mi­ami Mar­lins, Jeter has dis­cov­ered that what he learned on the di­a­mond also ap­plies to his work in the cor­ner of­fice.

Ex­pect Un­cer­tainty

In busi­ness, as in sports, Jeter says that you have to do your home­work. He points to the way ath­letes talk about play­ing dur­ing piv­otal mo­ments in a game: “They say, ‘The game slows down.’ I think the game slows down when you’re pre­pared. When you’re not pre­pared, ev­ery­thing seems to speed up.”

Ev­ery Player Is Unique

Coaches use in­di­vid­u­al­ized tac­tics to mo­ti­vate play­ers, and Jeter be­lieves the same ap­proach works in any in­dus­try. “You al­ways hear the phrase, ‘Treat ev­ery­one the same.’ Well, treat ev­ery­one fairly, but don’t treat ev­ery­one the same,” he says. “There are dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties you’re deal­ing with. Some guys you can yell and scream at; oth­ers you’ve got to give a hug to, to get the best out of them. The only way you’re able to tell the dif­fer­ence is if you take the time to get to know them.”

Re­spect the Call

As a leader, not ev­ery de­ci­sion you make will be pop­u­lar, and that’s okay. “Peo­ple may not agree,” Jeter says, “but they have to at least re­spect that you’re do­ing it with the best in­ter­ests of the com­pany in mind. There were times when I didn’t like some of the de­ci­sions be­ing made about team­mates of mine. But I al­ways knew that the ul­ti­mate goal was to have the best team on the field.”

Pho­to­graph by Her­ring & Her­ring

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