Four Outs
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I love the great American pastime—baseball. I love the chess match that is played by each manager as they calculate their next move. Even those who aren’t into baseball know that there are only three outs per team per inning, but in leadership there are four outs. This morning while reading a devotional, I came across the “four outs principle” once again and I think it’s time I share it with you. Each of the four outs is a type of leader.

  1. Dropouts – Dropouts are “leaders” who quit when the going gets tough and don’t take responsibility for the outcomes. They find all kinds of reasons why they couldn’t accomplish the task and why the only reasonable answer was to give up. Their lack of courage and inner strength leave their team demoralized. Those on their team with passion will seek another leader to follow.


  1. Cop-outs – Cop-outs are “leaders” who might not quit, but they always find excuses for why the outcome wasn’t their fault. It’s the economy, a team member who failed to deliver, or some “act of God,” but never their fault. Because they can’t admit that it was a failure, they never learn from the failure and fail to grow.


  1. Hold-outs – Hold-outs are the “leaders” who wait too long to act. They are paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. Always needing more information and more resources. By the time they have what they think they need, the opportunity has passed. While it may not be a failure per se, the opportunities found in the center of difficulty are missed.


  1. All-outs – All-outs are the real leaders. They own the job and the responsibility that leading requires. They find a way to push through the noise and do what is required. Their teams are inspired by their courage and dedication. When they fail, they own up to it and find ways to fail forward. These leaders accomplish great things. They learn from each setback and model these behaviors for their teams. We have seen many All-outs in history.


We live in a time that requires leaders to be All-out Leaders, and those who are willing to take up the task will be rewarded for their vision and courage. Why not become an All-out Leader today? If you would like to hear more on this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 220 of The Next Page Podcast.

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