Book Review: More Than a Season by Dayton Moore

By Marc C. Shaffer

Kansas City always has something exciting to offer, but the excitement that has centered around the Kansas City Royals these past few years has made the city even more electric. I had the opportunity to hear Dayton Moore speak during a series called Break the Fast which is produced by Group O’Dell. Break the Fast is a way to get small business owners together to improve their businesses.

Mr. Moore was a great speaker for the group. He talked to us about building a championship culture, and it was great timing because it was just a few months after the Royals had lost the World Series in 2014. As we know now, they ended up winning the World Series the following year, but I thought it was more impactful to hear what they had been doing for years to get to a championship and how they exhibited character even when things didn’t always go their way. What a joy it was to see their hard work pay off the following year!

I had an interest in his book because I enjoy the history of baseball and athletics, so combining that with leadership was an interesting topic for me. Baseball used to call the KC Royals the “professional graveyard” so I wanted to hear how they turned the organization around from that perspective rather than just hearing about a team that was already great and didn’t have to overcome adversity.

There are no guarantees in baseball, or in any endeavor, as we can see with the Royals 2018 season. However, strong leadership principles provide a cornerstone for organizations even when times get tough.

My Summary of the Book

The book is about Dayton Moore and his philosophies in life. Not only does he seem to have good morals, but he has a strong faith and makes sure his faith-morals-attitude is reflected on everyone else in the organization. He is a very transparent guy so you will always know where he stands and that he wants to see everyone succeed. He does a great job of discussing the selfless mindset.

I read this book and participated in Group O’Dell’s book study. I enjoyed discussing ideas with other business leaders such as how one person doesn’t champion a team, you have to have everyone working together to make something great. Some of my favorite takeaways from the book include:

  • Instead of leading from the top and leading down to those not in leadership, engage the right people, let them do their jobs and get out of their way. If you build a team with the right people, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with them (in a good way).
  • Surround yourself with and put “energy givers” on your team instead of “energy suckers.” Givers are enthusiastic, positive and expect things to happen. Negative attitudes bring problems with no solutions.
  • Great organizations have the ability to debate and argue. Even when things go well, they might not be perfect, so don’t be afraid to challenge each other to improve.
  • The Royals spent extra money so that everyone who supported the organization received a World Series ring – the sportscasters, the field maintenance leaders, etc. Anyone who contributes should be noted and be honored for the team success.
  • I enjoyed the personal stories about people who have influenced Mr. Moore over his life. I really value my mentors and enjoy reading about how mentors have impacted others.
  • If you’re not leading in your personal life it might be difficult to lead others – for instance if he didn’t make his family a priority since he travels and is gone so much, he couldn’t do it for others either.
  • Forgive every day and don’t hold on to things that will make you miserable.
  • Don’t quit and give your best every day.
  • Good people are often more important than someone who is the “best” at a skill.

I would recommend this book to anyone in a team environment, whether leading one or participating in one. It is also great for people interested in baseball or specifically the KC Royals.

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Published for the blog on June 27, 2018 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.