Boss Yourself Around

A man’s words determine how you look at him.

The importance of what one says–both with language and tone–is often underestimated in today’s culture. The 24-hour news cycle places high value on soundbites of questionable intelligence produced by “influential” people missing a filter between their brain and mouth.

Those willing to say whatever comes to mind rule the airwaves, especially when backed by a booming personality.

George Steinbrenner always struck me as the stereotypical brash billionaire.

Famous for his “money is no object” policy towards player acquisition, his actions came across as the petulant whims of a man obsessed with having his own way. All that mattered to him was victory, repeatedly emphasizing “winning is second only to breathing” over the course of his time owning the New York Yankees.

He hardly seemed likable.

Flipping through the channels during a commercial break last night, I landed on ESPN during what will surely be hours of time dedicated to the memory of “The Boss.” The footage being run came from a 2002 interview in which Steinbrenner discussed his philosophy toward people.

“I believe every man has 110%, that is, 10% more than he thinks he does.” The man suddenly grabbed my full attention. His aim for himself and others, therefore, was to “push into that 10%.”

Like a bolt from the blue, Steinbrenner’s image shifted in a new direction.

His dogged (if not ill-tempered) pursuit of championships went beyond a selfish desire to be at the top of the mountain. His insistence on unparalleled performance and striking professionalism was an extension of his belief in the latent capability within all of us.

The expectation, it would seem, stemmed from a drive to exude excellence in every aspect.

What’s important to note is the restless spirit hell-bent on seeing potential become reality. He expected to squeeze everything from the orange, to make sure every last ounce of usable material was given up.

Imagine what you could do if your attitude matched his.

Consider what you might achieve if being your very best was all you focused on.

How far would you go?

How much could you do?

How are you still leaving 10% in the dark?

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3 Responses to “Boss Yourself Around”


  1. 1 Chris Ross July 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Excellent post, it was a very good read for me! It is a sad time for the baseball world especially with the all star game being played on the same day, but I am also surprised at the amount of praise that the man who was once known as the most hated man in baseball. He definitely did do a lot for the New York Yankees and I’m sure the city is very grateful for it. I also kind of like/hate the fact that I have a team to hate for in the Yankees because they just buy all their players. Also you think you could take a quick look at my blog cuz I really want to know what you think. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/greatest-owner-ever-hardly/

    • 2 Jason Eichacker July 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      You see, I’m really not much of a baseball guy. My comment is rooted in the new understanding I have of his outward persona based on the words he used. His legacy on the sport will be a debate for the coming days (and probably years), yet you’ve probably hit the biggest nail on the head: he gave the game an “evil empire.”


  1. 1 The Focus Soliloquy « MeBuilding Trackback on July 23, 2010 at 7:38 am
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