As Director of the first formal Research and Development department in Major League Baseball, I was regularly exposed to new ideas, methodologies and discoveries. Many of them had to do with more detailed analysis of data as we took advantage of rapidly increasing computing power in the late 1990s. When I was first introduced to the discovery of hardwired designs in people and athletes, however, I knew this was a potential game-changer.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore a potentially revolutionary method for discerning the internal drive of players—what we referred to as “makeup.” What I quickly found, however, was not only did I gain useful insight when it came to baseball personnel, but it was extremely helpful with my family, as well. This new insight gave me a better understanding of—and appreciation for—my wonderful, loving wife. It allowed me to see clearly the special way she loved me and all that she did for our marriage. This included much that I had not appreciated properly before, if I had even noticed at all. Best of all, it enabled me to realize and fully appreciate her inner beauty. No longer were any disagreements a matter of right and wrong so much as a difference of perspective. I found that I was able to better quantify and cherish the perspective she brought to our relationship.
The benefits at home did not stop with my wife. I also gained insights for better relating to our young children—especially our son, who was quite a handful for us. I could see that he was different from me—very different—in some ways I considered good and others that I was not particularly enamored with. As I came to understand the way he was innately designed, I was able to quantify those differences and gain a more constructive comprehension of my son’s behavioral tendencies, as neither inherently “good” or “bad,” but simply different. In addition, I was able to formulate an effective strategy for being the best father I could be.
Perhaps most importantly, it was a revelation for understanding myself. I had always possessed what I considered to be pretty high self-esteem, but I wasn’t always satisfied with my performance. I also regretted my behavior at times. This new insight finally provided an understandable basis for not only why I had certain feelings, but also why I behaved and performed as I did—not just in athletics, but in the classroom, in the office, and at home.