Leadership Lessons from Billy Beane

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Editor's Introduction Chris: This piece is reposted from Rev. Bruce Sanguin's site If Darwin Prayed. In it Bruce mentions leadership lessons from Billy Beane (the great Oakland Athletics General Manager) and applies them to his own leadership context of church work. The piece is a great distillation of "Beane-ian" wisdom and we encourage readers to apply the same principles to their own leadership work in whatever context that occurs. Without further ado, Bruce's piece.


billy beane

I just returned from seeing Moneyball, a great baseball flick.  Brad Pitt plays Billy  Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics 2002 squad that won an unprecedented  twenty straight games that season—despite having the lowest pay roll in the major leagues. Season after season Beane would watch teams with deeper pockets steal his star players. When he realized that he couldn't compete with the New York Yankee's salaries, he decided that he needed to change the way the game was won. He needed to  actually evolve the game by re-imagining it in such a way that you couldn't just buy the World Series. There are some leadership lessons in this true story for church leaders.

Lesson 1:  Do not prematurely resolve the tension.

Billy refuses to accept solutions from his scouts and assistants that were based on the old paradigm. At this point, he had no solutions himself. He simply held the tension. He steeped himself in the conflict that ensued when he consistently contradicted the "experts". He increased  the evolutionary tension. It's my experience that most leaders in the church capitulate in the face of conflict. How do we support our leaders and congregations to hold the tension, when everything in us wants to resolve it prematurely for the sake of a false peace—a peace that will ultimately keep us from evolving?

Lesson 2: Staying in the fire focuses your attention on outside-the-box solutions.

Billy stumbles upon a completely new model in a young Yale economics graduate. This kid is using sophisticated mathematical models to recruit and draft young players. For the record, it's called sabermetrics. Billy hires him, after the young wizard confesses that according to his model, Billy himself got drafted way too high, and got paid way too much (when Billy broke into the major leagues as a player).

Lesson 3: It's not about you.

Billy was functioning from a higher principle than ego. He really wanted to change how the game was imagined. St. Paul gets a bad rap in many, postmodern academic circles. But in my estimation, Paul was the Billy Beane of religious movements. I don't have time to go into it in this piece, but I recommend Timothy Ashworth's, Paul's Necessary Sin. A reader from the site recommended it to me. Thank you. Paul thought that the game needed to be played from the inside-out, that God had indeed written a new covenant upon his heart as Jeremiah prophesied, that the prophecy was being fulfilled through Christ, and this was for everybody, now! Paul took heat from his own team, the Roman Empire, and even his own fledgling communities. But he didn't buckle. It wasn't about him. It was about Christ in him.

The start of the season for the Athletics was an unmitigated disaster. They fielded a squad of virtual no names and lost spectacularly—with the predictable onslaught of scorn from every corner. His own manager refused to enact the model. He repeatedly started their one star player, despite direct orders from the top. The fans and the commentators were solidly behind the manager. It wasn't his fault, the experts said, it was Billy Beane's fault. So what did Billy do? He traded their one star player just before a game, which meant that the manager had to go with the game plan and play the percentages. Then, he fired their head scout who refused to make the necessary adjustments.

brad pitt

Lesson 4:  It's obvious, but sometimes leaders need to make bold and unpopular decisions, and then stick with them.

Very few of us are willing to make these kinds of decisions. When I was putting together the team for Canadian Memorial I gained a bit of a reputation as the hatchet man. We fired the Music Director, who people loved, but who couldn't deliver our music vision. We hired a very talented man to replace him, and then fired him nine months later. He wasn't truly interested in our music vision. Half a dozen people left the church. We let a community worker go, along with an administrator. Once we had the team in place, it was smooth sailing. This was a very painful, but necessary, period in my evolution as a leader. I'm a pleaser by default, so I had to learn a whole new set of skills, and the rest of the team had the courage stand with me.

Ok, what was Billy's model? There were many mathematical variables, but the single one that they chose to focus on was called "on-base percentage" (OBP). This just means that by whatever means, whether by taking a walk, getting hit by a pitch, or hitting singles, the player gets to first base. If you don't have players on base, there's no way to score runs. This variable defined their strategy, and importantly what they wouldn't focus on. For example, they were defensively just "good enough", but focusing on one thing helped them to dedicate their limited resources.

baseball player

Lesson 5: Do one thing very well.

Billy hired a pudgy Triple A player who was virtually unnoticed by Big Leagues. But when they crunched the numbers, this guy knew a ball from a strike and got on base more than anybody else. With this one big thing in mind, they coached every player on how he could improve his OBP.

Suddenly, the season started to turn around. Everybody was flummoxed. The Athletics began their winning streak that helped them win their division. They lost in the playoffs, but the paradigm had shifted permanently. Billy's manager got the credit. But it wasn't about who got the credit. After the season finished, the Boston Red Sox approached Billy with the biggest offer in the history of the game for GM's. He turned it down. It really wasn't about the money. The Red Sox won the World Series two years later using Billy's method.

So, here's the question I want to leave you with. If you had to choose one variable, Billy's equivalent of OBP for the church, what would it be? If you had to organize around a single big thing, coach toward it, possibly take heat from implementing it, and be willing to stand on it and for it, what would it be?

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  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Wednesday, 07 December 2011 11:30 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Great article. Really loved it. Really want to watch the movie. I loved your question at the end, too. I would say that my OBP is something like always return to the core purpose/source/authenticator/beacon inside myself, and stick close to that. Or as they say in the game "stay within yourself"; or for me, "live from the inside out" ... don't try to decipher that inner beacon, don't look ahead, look at the ball (uh, inner light) -- it will get you on base (uh, keep you on your path). The rest is up to the rest of the team (uh, kosmos infinite mystery).

    Well done!

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Wednesday, 07 December 2011 20:07 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Love your OBP Bonnitta. Sounds like you have some jock in you? I like your point as well about trusting the team, once the system is in place. I keep having to learn that one.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Wednesday, 07 December 2011 20:10 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    haha@!## Here are some stats: I was all-state in two sports and senior athlete of the year when I graduated high school (as well as valedictorian)... I know how to compete as well as compute.

  • Comment Link Chris Dierkes Thursday, 08 December 2011 00:52 posted by Chris Dierkes

    Bonnitta is an honest to God living Renaissance woman! That is awesome.

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Thursday, 08 December 2011 02:01 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Yeah, but I wanna know which sports so maybe we can go head to head.

    As long as its one of b-ball, v-ball, tennis, golf or in a pinch wrestling.

    I think that all the contributors to this site could do with a good game of pick up b-ball.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Thursday, 08 December 2011 11:51 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Basketball, yes, and field hockey (I could skate like a dream, but back then girls only played the field version)... I was admitted to the boy's summer b-ball camp my 2nd year, and from then on we switched to a roving one-on-one defense (before girls played anything but zone) and the referees had difficulty making calls (you weren't supposed to have any contact, but we would ocassionally put our hands on the other girls as a teaser and to create drama) -- we had a pretty good team, and always went to the state playoffs, but our field hockey team was even better. when i started with them we had lost every single game that first season. my senior year we went all the way to the state championship and lost the final by a penalty count in triple overtime. now get this -- NO ONE BUT ME had ever scored a goal on that hockey team. talk about pressure! the other teams always had me double and tripled up defensively and i absolutely loved it, loved the challenge. not to take all the credit, as i was one of a killer triangle with kat cecil and diane bocon (center and center back)... yeah, i got stories! we all got stories!

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Thursday, 08 December 2011 16:05 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Ok, b-ball it is.

    It would be interesting to hear from folks how their athletic careers impacted, for better or worse, their self-image, leadership capacity, self-confidence/esteem, etc.

    It was huge for me. I ended up as captain of all the teams I played for because I was so bloody intense, and worked so hard.

    Field hockey always looked awkward to me - and hard on the body (especially the back)

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 09 December 2011 00:56 posted by Philip Corkill

    If it's a B-ball pick up, count me in! The other team is fucked. Unless I think we're getting too smug with those winning cigars and we might become more by losing. Then I might pull us down the tear hole just so that we emerge with a bigger heart.

    Three years ago I created ZENball. I returned to Germany's biggest and best basket ball camp after a 13 year absence and said "until I was 16 I was obsessed with basketball. Then I turned my back on it and became obsessed with meditation. Now I'm going to bring the two together"

    And I got to work (obsessed as ever). In all honesty I was never that good a player or leader in the classic sense and here again I wasn't anything like Bruce or Billy Beane. But maybe I was leading with the yin (or the yang - I always get them confused). It was like a contact improvisation. I felt like water seeping into camp-life. I didn't have to fight, confront make unpopular decisions or stand in the line of fire much. Thank God. But there was heaps of creative tension. By the end of the summer the Camp director had me leading evening meditations for the campers and other coaches were all over me for cool-down, attention/awareness, grounding, centring and team-bonding exercises.

    But the real delight was to see these 12-18 year olds eyes light up, enjoying the dance of basketball and their bodies more fully. Not so rat-race hamster-wheel american dream bootcamp bullshit. Co-ordinating more dimensions of their young lives. At least that's what I wanted to see.

    That summer Bonnitta, I tasted that sower of seeds mischievous eye twinkle. Ah, for the summer love;-) Sowing the pesky weeds I'm not so good at. Although learning to take them in from beings more courageous is a start.

    If I had to lead the church with one principal Bruce, I would lead with:


  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Friday, 09 December 2011 01:49 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Alright, we're getting close to fielding a b-ball team, only instead of doing the evangelical, down on one knee, and pray to God to help us win, Phillip can lead us in meditation - get us into the Zen Zone. Bonnitta will then give a pre-game pep talk on process philosophy as it relates to the full-court press and the fast break. I'm sure you can work in "concrescence", "occasions", how the game in truth reflects the principle of the many becoming one and being increased by one. We'd be invincible.

    Where are the rest of the Beam Team? C'mon guys and gals.

    Phillip, I think I'd like you as my camp counsellor.

  • Comment Link Juma Wood Friday, 09 December 2011 17:40 posted by Juma Wood

    I'm a mean rebounder and ferocious defender who can get hot from 15 feet and have played for a championship team and coached girls teams in the past.

    I also deliver thundering pre-game motivational speeches and having attended Catholic School already have God on my side.

    That has 'starting centre' written all over it.

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Friday, 09 December 2011 18:24 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    It's good to have a Catholic, to cover all the bases, so to speak. I can see Juma, that you would indeed be a fierce defender. But I don't want my centre man shooting from 15". We'll post you up and leave the shooting to Bonnitta, while Phil holds us all in the zone.

    We need one more to complete the starting roster. Any takers?

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 09 December 2011 18:41 posted by Philip Corkill

    I'll have you know, Chela and I actually initiated practice two weeks ago while you folks were sleeping. Much as I'd like to exclude anyone who didn't attend practice, we practiced in the name of Christ and his massage was very clear: "if they truly repent, I will welcome them next time, whether they've attended before or not" then he added, quietly, more to himself: "at least until we have a decent starting five"

    Next collective practice is this Sunday. So, I'm glad to have your sleepy asses on board;-)

    We must begin training in time for the festive season!

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Friday, 09 December 2011 19:07 posted by Bruce Sanguin


    I'm looking forward to "massage" from Christ. Maybe we should all sign up, given how rigorous the workouts are going to be. I haven't heard from Chela herself about her intentions to try out for the squad.

    I'm taking the mad net-rusher, Trevor, on in a game of tennis on the 20th. Maybe he'll blog about the experience of getting soundly thrashed by an old fart. :-)

    (If my shoulder holds up, and my left hip flexor doesn't seize up completely, and my right hamstring doesn't snap.)

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 09 December 2011 19:37 posted by Philip Corkill

    You sound like you need that massage Bruce!

    And, of course, if you don't show up for practice you won't see Chela's mesmerising moves. Fill him in Chela!

    The massage we received two weeks ago prior to practice was quite miraculous. It had us both weeping and it felt like just the one small moment we were together with our Lord Physio could provide a nourishing touch for many.

    We just had to show up together with a genuinely touchable heart.

    Meet you all at the centre circle before practice to receive our massage.

  • Comment Link Sarah Olson Saturday, 10 December 2011 05:21 posted by Sarah Olson

    Well this is my favorite thread on the site ever! By far. I am a terrible basketball player (and also an Enneagram type 3, so really not up for doing this I'm not good at) but am pretty coordinated and would love to be included... maybe cheerlead?

    In truth I just want to be there for Juma's thundering motivational speeches. :)

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Saturday, 10 December 2011 05:43 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    That's ok, Sarah, the postmodernist in me can't stand excluding anyone. We're all equal. And we'll give you equal playing time. You definitely can't be a cheerleader because that's sexist. Or we'll each take a turn being a cheerleader. I want to see Juma in one of those cute little outfits:

    "Philip, Philip, he's our man.
    If he can't do it, no one can.
    There's the basket, there's the rim.
    C'mon Philip, put it in
    Sink it, Philip, sink it!"

    (An actual cheer from my Churchill Bulldog, Varsity B-Ball Days).

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 10 December 2011 17:32 posted by Philip Corkill


    This is fantastic. Pre-game "touch of Christ" massage, motivational speech by our tough starting centre, Juma (who changes to his frilly outfit to cheer me on in the breaks), horsepower pep-talks by Bonnitta after which I will lead you into the Zen Zone to begin with a beginners mind. Bruce, with his Church history can be power forward and Occupy the boards (and if we need any referee inquisitions - you the man)!

    With Sarah (don't worry, with your co-ordination you will grasp the game quickly, simply by practicing in our field of resonance) we have our Beam Team starting five! And with Chela on board we will rotate as six! Chela has this furious tango-step-penetration going on. I want her on the team. After all she showed up to the first practice. and maybe we can get net-rusher on board too?

    Next practice is tomorrow. Be there!

    While we are working on constructing our own gym, we can work out for free at the integral enlightenment gym:


    Chela and I will be there. And remember: where two or more are gathered in Bruce's name we get the "touch of Christ" massage for free!

    Meet you at the centre circle for Zen, Zest, Zip, Zap and ZINGBall evolution!

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:56 posted by Philip Corkill

    Grrr! Gym is closed. Care taker on holiday.

    Instead: Meet you at the centre circle of non-local space in 5 minutes, open to cosmic massages;-)

    We'll get on the ball about practice in the new year.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 25 December 2011 21:34 posted by Philip Corkill

    Adver*tease*ing Beams practice in the new year:

    Team, I was at practice today and various women showed up but as far as I know no other men. Beams men, while I do enjoy working out with your women, I don't want to do it behind your backs;-)

    As always, I enjoyed practice today. It was deep, silent and profound to commune with you everyhere ladies and the massages we receive like this are out of this world. May your jelousy draw you in guys;-)

    Chela, how was it for you? Sarah? Others?

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 06 January 2012 11:39 posted by Philip Corkill

    Team, apologies for killing the thread by abusing it to get people on board for collective practice. Next practice this Sunday by the way;-)

    But back to Billy Beane. The thread has life in it yet! On the plane ride home from Cali, guess who was on the screen. I couldn't believe my luck. I saw things quite differently to Bruce. Here's just two central points:

    First, I saw management and dealership lessons as well as leadership lessons. I just loved the way he walked around knowing what he wanted, knowing what others would want and getting wicked deals done in exactly the ideal moment. His method is brilliant to study. I'd watch it again just for that. He doesn't deal his way to fame of cash. He deals his way home to authenticity. the dynamics of that are exemplary.

    Second, to Lesson 3: it's not about you. I think that is a very dangerous way to see it. But that's not Bruce. Billy actually says that in the film. Andrew Cohen always says that too and there's no-one I like to criticise more than Andrew;-)

    That generation is weird. When they walk around the earth fucking everything over and chasing after empty shit that other people have conditioned them to want, they believe it is all about them. Like the jounger Billy Beane following the call of fame and misfortune. As soon as they start trying to change the game, to give their gifts, to do anything remotely human and truly about them, they say: it's not about me. WTF!?

    This is never true. It's utterly topsey-turvey and dangerous. Just as Billy Beane begins to make choices that are true to his own heart, values and what he cares about, and less about what others think or are willing to pay for i.e. choices that are finally actually about HIM, boomers will start saying: it's not about him anymore, now it's about evolution.

    He may refuse a big salary offer, fame, glamour, in order to stay true to his vision, work on a cause he cares about or respect his daughters demands. But are you implying that the money would be more about him and his daughter less about him?

    Have we have accepted that making choices that don't represent what we deeply care about, in exchange for large saleries, fame, or whatever, is about us?

    If so we have simply sold our souls and it is high time to buy them back. Watch Billy on how to deal with the devil;-)

    This is the moment in all American Films where someone is offered a large sum of money, fame or "fortune" and turns it down to do something meaningful and we're conditioned to go "wow, I can't believe he did that, what a selfless moral superhuman". Unmoved we might think "if you'd left your little daughter behind for that, you wouldn't be worthy of wiping my ass"

    Some people or generations are just so sold out that the moment they buy back an ounce of self-respect and care for the whole they can't recognise themselves any more. It's like they reappear from hiding up their own ass and suddenly theirs a bigger picture.

    But that is just the moment when you earn your soul, just the beginning of YOUR adventure.

    Billy Beane is tempted to be someone else and effectively sold by his parents and enslaved by a big team with big bucks and glittering promises too a young man. They con him fair and square.

    This film is the story of Billy buying his soul back. Unmistakably about Billy Bean and all he cares about.

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Friday, 06 January 2012 17:12 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Hey Phil,

    Good to know that Billy Beane continues to offer up new wisdom!

    Love your management pick up.

    Regarding the second point, of course, I agree with it. I tend to make a distinction between my early, scramble for sustenance, security, sex, and status self (reptilian and neo-mammalian plus the rationalizations of the neo-cortex), and emergent Self (soul) that is in service to a higher purpose/emergent future. It's not about me refers, I think, to early self. It is about me refers to latter self-sense.

    That is, it's only partly about my early self (which is included in all manifestations of self). But when it becomes all about that, it all gets a bit undignified.

    Billy Beane lives!

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 07 January 2012 15:05 posted by Philip Corkill

    Yay! My life emerged more as one yearning but maybe that's because boomers had struggled their asses off for me never to have to worry about survival. Plus, just for the record I'm quite good at the spineless self-disappearing act described above too. But I can't really Imagine a pure survival self.

    Billy seems to seamlessly enact the stages of your distinction too. sometimes he's a reptile, right? And a mammal to his daughter and a visionary for the game.

    go coach!

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Saturday, 07 January 2012 17:06 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Nice Phil,

    I think it's true that BB harnesses, rather than tries to ignore (like some spiritual practitioners) the intelligences of the early self. We can move in and out, up and down, these instinctual functions, just as we ride the spiral of worldviews—the goal is pragmatic idealism. Being grounded in the end game, and recruiting the full spectrum of capacities to collaboratively manifest it.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 07 January 2012 18:18 posted by Philip Corkill

    End Game = Kingdom of God?

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Tuesday, 10 January 2012 08:41 posted by Philip Corkill


    Where this gets really juicy for me right now is comparing Billy Beane to Jesus Christ or looking to Christ as a leadership or dealership example.

    One thing that stuck out for me about the BB movie was his statements about hating losing even more than he loves winning. This is where I presume the USA has completely missed the lessons of Christ. It also means that when your going to be the reason someone else looses, you'd better have a damn good reason for it. Otherwise your just a fucking ass-hole.

    So if Billy's ultimate concern is not loosing in the long run and all all deals are made to that end then that is again quite revealing about who this is about. I think that is pretty pathetic but it is the American way.

    When we want the best team to win, for example, and we simply fight with all our heart, we value the pain of loosing. It's a basic catalyst of sporting excellence and "sportsmanship" and a natural door to the practice and understanding of the Jesus' injunction "Love your Enemy". I used to fall in love with my rivals in Basketball because they would bring out the best in me. They would humble me and they were simply beautiful. If they didn't cheat!

    IMO, if you can't stand loosing at all you miss the whole beauty of sport. At the other extreme, if you want to loose your probably a pervert.

    So what is the sport of Jesus Christ that turns loosing, ridicule and public disappointment into liberation for all? What was his ultimate concern? I trust you have better answers to this than I do but that's what I would want for the leadership of the Church.

    But it's one thing to take some stick for making unpopular decisions. It seems to me like another heat entirely to be willing to be utterly disgraced and crucified for your ultimate concern.

    If America understood this I might have some respect. But the USA at large behaves like the worst kind of rival in Basketball. If they can't win they'd rather cheat than loose. And that they do on all levels.

    With Jesus, I might just accept that it wasn't about him but more about his farther's kingdom and the kingdom subjects. His enemies and about us. On the other hand this is were the rubber really meets the road in terms of true identity. Did Jesus even have an ego to be about?

    And do we really need one?

    Really would love to hear from you on this as a stranger to your tradition but apparently interested in a similar end game. Maybe...

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Wednesday, 11 January 2012 02:24 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Thanks Phil,

    Nice observation about the role of losing, coming up against one is stronger, faster, better, as a provocation to evolve. In this sense, we truly do need to love our enemy.

    Jesus, says Paul, was foolishness to the Greeks, and a stumbling block to his own religion—precisely because he was a loser, that is, he got crucified. Not exactly good from for a Messiah.

    He "emptied himself, not counting equality with God a thing to be grasped, taking the form of a servant." Consequently he was raised to sit at the right hand of God. (Philippians 2).

    So, Jesus was kind of a loser, in the eyes of the world. His only victory was love, inclusion of the poor and left-behinds. I guess this was his sport. His loss in the eyes of the world was a victory of Spirit, a world transformed by non-coercive love, that responds to violence with suffering, when the whole world plays the game of responding to suffering with violence.

    And yes, the end game is the KG, right, loving relationship with self, God, neighbour, and Earth, knowing that what love looks like gets more complex, includes more perspectives, and is increasingly willing to enact the self-emptying love of Christ, as the universe evolves, in, through, and as us.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Wednesday, 11 January 2012 03:21 posted by Philip Corkill

    Thanks Bruce, soooo much. It is so present for me ant the moment. I love this line especially and wonder if I can articulate a Basketball teaching around it:

    His loss in the eyes of the world was a victory of Spirit, a world transformed by non-coercive love, that responds to violence with suffering, when the whole world plays the game of responding to suffering with violence.

    Michael Jordan would be eating his heart out and ashamed. And he is already so beautiful.

    Oh, what to say...

  • Comment Link Lisa Macy Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:38 posted by Lisa Macy

    I loved the movie Moneyball and i am not a fan of prof. baseball. I was struck by all the things y'all mentioned....but most especially by "I hate losing, more than I love winning." hmmmm, that means everyone else but your team must lose for you to be happy(?), successful(?). Also, the man made his living in professional baseball and didn't watch the games. I think that might say more about how we take play, morph it into "work" (in the pejorative sense of the word) and torture ourselves in the name of having a "career."

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Thursday, 23 February 2012 03:20 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Thanks Lisa,

    Yeah, confusing our life work with a career can cause a lot of suffering. How did the great Jimmy Buffet put it? "The men sit on their butt, discussing who caught what, trying to cram lost years into four or five days."

    It's tough for athletes who just want to play for the love of the game, and then it quickly becomes business.

  • Comment Link Lisa Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:26 posted by Lisa

    I can't completely grok the idea of "hating losing more than I love winning." it doesn't quite compute with me. Explanations?

    Bruce, I really loved the point you teased out from the movie about being willing to live in the tension, insist on change without really knowing the solutions (Occupy seems to be sitting there right now - Bravo!)

    God love the losers. Surely the message of the Sermon on the Mount (or is it the Beatitudes? I get them mixed up), and the losers are all of us. Who hasn't been heart-broken, in despair, lost, afraid, humiliated - whether you make in excess of $1 mil or a year or not.

    I thought Moneyball was a beautiful movie for it's rich humanity.

  • Comment Link Bruce Sanguin Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:28 posted by Bruce Sanguin

    Thanks Lisa,

    As an athlete I actually can relate to hating losing more than winning. I saw it in certain teammates. The hatred of losing is fuelled by ego/early self, based in (I suspect) early experiences of shame, and low self-esteem. Certain players are ferocious, even desperate not to lose. They will cheat on line calls, treat a pick up game like it's the world series. They aren't motivated by a pure love of the game, but by fear of being exposed as inadequate.

    BTW, the beatitudes are embedded in the Sermon on the Mount. :-)

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