Joe Torre: “Coach Boys into Men”

Joe Torre, Cards Manager 1990-95

Parents are society’s most important leaders.  A child’s values, self-confidence, and strength of character are shaped at home.

The skill sets to be a great parent, Little League coach, and Fortune 500 CEO are the same.

Yet, too many parents think it is more vital to teach their little boys how to throw a good punch than to learn how to treat peers with dignity and respect.  The former skill teaches them to become bullies.  The latter skill teaches them to be great leaders and successful people.

Joe Torre is famous for his baseball career ~ especially his years as the coach of the New York Yankees.  Most people aren’t aware that Joe Torre’s father, a New York City cop, was abusive.  Although these childhood experiences left their scars, Torre believes they prepared him to deal effectively with Yankee owner George Steinbrenner.

Torre has been a strong advocate for domestic violence prevention.  He established the Safe at Home foundation and became a member of the Founding Fathers movement which promotes the “Coach Boys into Men” media campaign and training programs.  You can watch the “Coach Boys into Men” public service announcement (PSA) at the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s web site.

If you are the parent or coach of boys, I urge you to take a look at the “Coach Boys into Men” campaign.  Hopefully, you will be inspired to call your local media outlets and ask them why they aren’t airing the PSA during baseball season.  Ideally, you’ll be inspired to test your leadership skills by introducing the “Coach Boys into Men” training program in your community.  It’s an easy way to learn leadership skills that just might help your professional career.

Another Founding Father is Dr. Bill Cosby who writes about parents as leaders in his wonderful new book:  Come on People:  On the Path from Victims to Victors.

You can read about Joe Torre’s childhood in Chasing the Dream:  My Lifelong Journey to the World Series and about his leadership approach in Joe Torre’s Ground Rules for Winners:  12 Keys to Managing Team Players, Tough Bosses, Setbacks, and Success.

You can watch a video of Joe Torre talking about his abusive father, Safe at Home, and Margaret’s Place at  Mr. Torre’s story was featured in Breaking the Silence; Children’s Stories,” a PBS special funded by the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation.  You can watch that video by clicking on this link.

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