Difference Between Driving Coop To School Vs. The Girls

One of the highlights of my day is 7.15 to 7.30 am. Why? It’s 15 minutes of guy time with Coop. It starts with Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN radio. Cooper tells me the latest sports stuff – update on the never-ending NBA playoffs, the Rockies, etc. We laugh and talk about sport issues which are really leadership issues.

This morning’s topic – Jorge Pasada, Derek Jeter, and the batting 9th Issue. Here’s a quick recap. Pasada – longtime Yankee catcher – has hit the wall in his career, batting .165 and no longer catching. Manager tells him he is now batting 9th in the lineup which Pasada takes as an insult, asks to be out of the lineup for the day. Meanwhile, his wife tweets that the reason he isn’t in the lineup is because he’s injured. The GM holds a press conference in the middle of the game to say that he isn’t hurt but quit on the team. Press asks Jeter for his opinion, Jeter says “If I thought something was wrong, I’d tell Pasada myself.” Management gets mad at Jeter for saying that. Next day – Pasada apologizes, asks for a do-over and wished he could have that day back.

Now — let me make two very important observations at this point before I finish out the story…

Point 1: If you are a girl (or can’t stand sports), chances are you’ve already quit reading. Or you think Coop and I have the most boring drives and conversations in history of mankind. Or maybe you are asking yourself – why don’t you spend that time talking about God, singing praise songs, or praying for lost Hindus?

My date nights with Cayden and Camber are very, very, different. I come home from those nights exhausted. Why? Because it’s astonishing how many words those girls can fit inside a trip for ice cream. It’s constant and it’s all over the place from friends at school to dancing to gymnastics to whatever drama is going on at school to how the grandparents are doing. I get about 40% of what is said and understand less than that.

All this may be fascinating or boring but none of that really matters. What really matters is point #2.

Point 2: The central point of these times I have with Cooper (and the girls) is that it’s THEIR time, not mine. I don’t always get this right. There are times when I’m tired and distracted and miss it but I’m trying to get it right more than not. And I’m starting to remind myself in the 3 seconds it takes for me to unlock the car – this is about them, not me.

The conversations are about what THEY want to talk about. Not me. I want to converse or in the case with the girls – be overwhelmed with an insane amount of words. The moment is about being in the moment, not somewhere else. Not in my phone or getting prepped for the next meeting, or figuring out my day. It’s about BEING in the moment, wholly in the moment.

I don’t always get it right. But I’m learning. And thankfully I have great kids who are patient with their father.

Back to the Yankee Drama:
Pasada apologized and that really should be the end of the story. Nobody is ever going to get it right all the time. Frustration gets the better of it at times – that’s okay as long as you’re willing to take the licks that come with it and own it. Pasada did that. Time to move on.

Management needs to relax about Jeter’s comments and instead read them from a different angle. Another way to look at what Jeter said is this – “If I had a problem with Pasada’s actions – the last place on the earth I’m going to talk about it is in the press. I’ll talk to him about it – not the press, not his wife, not the management, not anyone else.” Which is exactly the right thing to do and say.


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