Baseball legend Yogi Berra was among the most successful athletes at creating an enduring personal brand. He had a reputation for excellent performance, honesty, and good humor -- qualities of successful entrepreneurs. Here are some of the leadership lessons that small business owners can take from the life of Yogi Berra.
According to noted baseball historian Marty Appel, Yogi, was not physically imposing, but always exceeded expectations on the field. Small businesses face larger competitors on a daily basis. Part of their success includes doing things better, faster or less expensively as the big guys. Exceeding expectations is a great way to keep customers coming back for more.
Lead by Example
As a player, Yogi Berra excelled in the game's most demanding position. He knew his job inside and out and knew what it takes to succeed. He led by example and was one of the few Hall of Fame players to make the transition from player to pennant-winning manager. He knew how to get the job done and was willing to show others how to do the same. Any successful small business owner does the same.
Build a Personal Brand
Off the field, Yogi Berra was humorous and affable. He seemed to genuinely love meeting the fans who came to see him. When running a business, it is important to make customers feel that you are happy to see them and welcome to be there. The Yogi Berra Museum in Little Falls, NJ, not only celebrates not his athletic accomplishments, but also his high character, sportsmanship, honesty, and good nature. These are great characteristics for building a personal brand.
To this day, Yogi's famous line, "It ain't over 'til it's over," resonate with new generations of sports teams, as well as business leaders. Set lofty goals and pursue them passionately -- even in the face of daunting competition. Owning a business in many ways is like a battle; keep battling hard until the end of each day.