Hall of fame Philadelphia Phillies play-by-play announcer, Harry Kalas died on April 13th at the age of 73. His memorial service was held this past weekend at Citizens Bank Park. For almost four decades, Harry was the voice of the Phillies. He was beloved, not only for his incredible voice and proficiency behind the microphone, but because he was such a nice person.
His death triggered an outpouring of emotions and memories from Phillies fans. The common theme – For Harry, it was never about him. It was about the game. It was about the fans. Although he reached the absolute pinnacle of his profession, he didn’t big-time anyone. He made ordinary people feel special. He somehow even managed to influence the players (those spoiled young men that play baseball for a living), to want to please him. Steve Sabol from NFL films captured the essence of Harry in his quote…
“Harry wasn’t a class act because there was no act with Harry. He could sell anything with that voice, and he did. But the one thing he never sold was himself.”
There is a message for managers here, isn’t there? It is not about us. It is about the company. It is about the team. It’s about the people on the team – the ones that do the work.
Joe Kerr: I’ll be the first to admit that Harry was a great announcer. They don’t allow just anyone into the Hall. He will be missed by many to include me.
I don’t see how you can relate his style to management though. Let’s face it, Harry didn’t manage anyone. Try the “Mr. Nice Guy” routine as a manager and you’ll get eaten alive.
Wanda B. Goode: I suppose if more managers treated their team members like Harry treated the average fan, we’d have a lot more engaged employees out there. We’d have a much better world for that matter.
Here’s a humorous post you may enjoy – The Jerks Shall Inherit the Earth