Curt Schilling: Losing the Mind Game

Pitching great, Curt Schilling, isn’t the first guy to find that power in one game doesn’t guarantee success in another. Michael Jordan couldn’t make it work going from NBA player to an owner, coach and general manager. Strengths in one position, even in the same game, don’t assure a good fit in another role. Schilling appears to have struck out big time as a wannabe entrepreneur.

I watched Schilling pitch lots of games for Arizona – and didn’t see a single sign of him having entrepreneurially minded moves at the mound. He relied on throwing the ball hard and fast past hitters, and later charted and logged each pitch in a diary. He was an expert in what he did well.

No surprise that he would hire like-minded experts to put together his dream of building a grandiose online video game, code named Copernicus. It seems like he assembled a cloned team of detail-oriented, statistically driven, strategic planners to do the job. The problem is, that never works.

Not only did Schilling lack the entrepreneurial instincts to have changed it up when the business was in trouble, it looks like he didn’t even bring in go-for-it innovators as relief. He stuck with his roster of high-priced power players with proven records, thinking the most experienced people in the video gaming industry would be just the right team for creating a more powerful version of, yet another, sword-and-sorcery game. No surprise, but apparently they are at least a year behind schedule and the game is unlikely to ever become a reality.

Nothing new here – including the predictable demise of Schilling’s company. Even the $75 million dollar investment by Rhode Island taxpayers and his own apparent $50 million hasn’t overcome the inertia. Without the synergy of different conative or instinctive strengths, teams do not achieve lofty goals or accomplish great things.

Schilling once demanded that the retractable roof at the Arizona Diamondback’s Chase field, paid for by Arizona taxpayers, be closed whenever he pitched. Stats had convinced him that the open air led to more home runs. Management, much like Rhode Island politicians, let him get away with it – until those tax-paying fans demanded the blue skies they had paid for.

Arizona won the World Series when they had a team working together with vastly differing natural, conative strengths. Losing that Synergy is another story.


Filed under Self-Help

4 responses to “Curt Schilling: Losing the Mind Game

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