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Cards Manager Mike Matheny Speaks In Cape Girardeau About Leadership

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke at the Show Me Center Monday night as part of the first annual Arrow Leadership and Success Summit.

Matheny spoke about his recipe for leadership and success with things that can be controlled. He defined separating the good from the great with the acronym “edges” - education, discipline, goals, energy and serving others.

“I believe leaders are learners and I believe leaders are readers,” Matheny said.

Matheny advised leaders to push themselves. Tony La Russa, manager of the Cardinals from 1996-2011, told Matheny to strive to learn something new every day.

Discipline requires sacrifices and challenges. Matheny joked that parents always ask how their son can get to the major league and he said discipline plays a vital role, but discipline requires sacrifices and challenges.

“You got a whole lot of people wanting that same spot,” Matheny said. “What are you going to do differently than everyone else? It’s a great challenge to ask yourself in whatever endeavor you’re getting into. If you want to be at the top, if you want to take from good to great, what kind of sacrifices are you going to make and how are you going to balance that with the other priorities and make all this work together.”

Matheny said for a leadership role, people must set goals. He said people should take one goal, write it down and look at it every single day. Though it’s the goal for the Cardinals to win, Matheny said he challenges the players to set goals in every aspect of their life and make a list of priorities.

“When you bring a group together that’s motivated by the same thing and motivated by the same ideas and the same goals,” Matheny said. “You have team goals and we’re pushing those personal goals towards those team goals it’s powerful.”

Energy refers to the attitude and optimism that people can bring to the table and serving others is the last and most important key to leadership, according to Matheny. He challenges people to think about themselves less and put others first.

“Leadership is changing people,” he said. “Changing people and pushing them in the right direction and helping to guide them by serving them, that is what changes the bottom line but more importantly, changes us as individuals.”

Matheny briefly spoke about the trade that sent pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to the Atlanta Braves for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden. He said they looked at areas they believe they could improve on and they needed a spot to fill the hole in the right field.

“We hate to see Shelby go,” he said. “Tyrell is a very promising young arm and I think he’s going to have a good career. I think Shelby is going to continue to do a great job.”


Jen Gradl was a student reporter at KRCU in 2014.