Steven Strasburg’s Open Leadership Style? Humility

Ray van Hilst Avatar

As we get ready for Charlene Li to be the first speaker of this year’s Buzz 2010, leadership is on the minds of many in the association and social media community.  Charlene’s new book “Open Leadership” discusses what strong leadership looks like in today’s open media environment.

As I’ve been reading through the interviews with Charlene at the Buzz 2010 blog and in one of her interviews she touches on the need for humility to be an open leader.  It’s something that I inherently know, have learned from my most influential leaders in my life, and try to practice.

However, it’s not something you always see from people that are put in prominent positions and from whom much is expected.  And this is where my passion for Nationals baseball, social media and leadership collide.

Yes, watching Stephen Strasburg’s blistering fast-ball, speedy slider and wicked curve balls was awesome to watch as he made his debut with the Washington Nationals this week.  However what impressed me the most was his humility.

Here’s a 21 year old who has been welcomed to the city with more fanfare than even Joe Gibbs garnered upon his return to the Redskins.  He makes more money than I can fathom and has more people hanging on his every word than any other player on the team.

And yet….. he remained humble.  He showed his respect for a future hall of fame catcher.  He thanked his teammates.  He respected his manager.  He had a smile and was cordial with all.

And in 7 innings he instantly became a leader.  Not just because of his skill, but because of his openness.

We’ve all worked with that rock-star that can close any deal, create a piece of advertising genius or code his way out of any tough situation.  But if you think about the people you respected and looked up to they were open leaders… and humble.

It’s a good reminder as we remake ourselves for this digital age.  And one that I continue to live by.

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