There are going to be countless article, blogs, books, and songs written about Derek Jeter between now and the end of the 2014 season. Maybe not songs, but you get the point. I am sure I will have a lot to say about The Captain in the coming months, so while I don't have a Part Two in mind quite yet, I am calling this Part One. Many of the articles and quotes I have read since Jeter announced his retirement have mentioned Jeter's effort. They cite the fact that he runs hard to first base on every ground ball, something that is taught in Little League, reinforced at every level, but not often seen on the Major League level. That said, how many times has his running hard impacted the play or the game? Yet, he does it EVERY time.
On the flip side is Robinson Cano, the former Yankee second baseman. Cano is an amazing player. He plays every day, rarely taking a day off, plays great defense and is one of the best hitters in the game. But he doesn't always run hard, a fact that I am sure was considered as the Yankees evaluated him as a free agent. Kevin Long, the Yankee hitting coach, stirred controversy recently when he mentioned Cano's lack of hustle in an interview. This truly highlighted the contrast between Jeter and Cano.
As I often do, I thought about how it applies to my business. Do I run out every ground ball? Would others perceive me as giving maximum effort or do they think I lack hustle?
It reminded me of a deal we did about ten years ago. We were representing a large tenant in Central New Jersey. Our client was occupying 180,000 sf in one of the premier buildings in the market, but the space was inefficient. When we went out to look at alternatives in the market, one of the goals was to fix the inefficiency, even if it meant going to a lesser building.
Typical to the process, we developed a short list and sent out several requests for proposals. Many of the landlords were anxious to respond as it was large deal. They were detailed in their responses and aggressive in their business terms.
However, one landlord provided a short, sloppy proposal that was above their asking rental rate. When I called to ask why, the in-house leasing agent told me that he didn't think they had a chance to do the deal and that they didn't want to be used as a stalking horse. He wasn't running out the ground ball.
We called his boss, received a revised proposal and ended up doing a 150,000 sf deal at the building. The in-house leasing agent was not involved in the deal after the initial proposal and left the company shortly thereafter.
Often, tenants will change their minds in the middle of a deal. A company that is focused on moving and won't stay in their current building can shift their focus to a renewal based on many factors. Similarly, a renewal can get off track when a company's needs change and the space is either too large or too small.
A deal is a step-by-step process. Each step is important and can't be skipped. Every team member involved in the deal, on both sides, has to do their part. Every task, trivial or critical, deserves a high level of attention, the same way Jeter runs out every ground ball.
My team is encouraged to use proper grammar and punctuation in emails, proofread proposals before they go out...the little things. That said, I made a mistake this week in a proposal and sent it the client before it was caught. No one's perfect, but we aspire to be.
There are things you can't control, errors/mistakes happen, but if you give maximum effort, good things (and even the unexpected) can happen. You never know, right?