3 Leadership Styles Learned at the Ballpark

leadership and baseball

Leadership Lessons Learned from Baseball

There’s something special about a night at the ballpark. The warm weather, the foot-long hotdogs, the peanut shells crackling under foot, the man-made wave surging thru the crowd and, probably best of all, the crack of a bat sending a ball over the fence!

As one sits and takes in all the sights and sounds of the ballpark, it’s interesting to ponder the roles of all the people involved in the game. There are many types of people who can be found at a ballpark: security officers, concession stand attendants, mascots, fans, players, sports casters, etc.

In reference to the ballpark, a leadership coach from Petrous Leadership once shared an analogy with me about three specific types of people we can draw some serious leadership traits from. I’d like to elaborate on that lesson learned.

Leadership Style #1: The Parent

A parent of the players sits in the stand and has unconditional love for their child. They are sad when they don’t perform well, they are ecstatic when their child does something special and the player is eager to perform to the best of their abilities because their parents are in the stands.

A “Parent Leader” is one who has great desire for their employees to perform to the best of their abilities. They are compassionate for their employees when they fail and encourage them to try again, reassuring the employee they’ll do better next time. Their employees appreciate the compassion of their leader and do their best to impress their leader.


parent leadership
coach leadership

Leadership Style #2: The Coach

The primary goal of a player’s coach is to develop talent and position players in a way to build the strongest team in order to win as many games a possible. They teach players new techniques, improve their performance thru drills and practices, reviews film of previous games and critiques errors. A coach is less compassionate than a parent. They will punish players for making mistakes by being more strict on them in practice, making them do more drills, make them run more laps and motivate them to improve in order to get the player to sharpen the skills that came up short in the game. They praise top performers with game balls and MVP honors.

A “Coach Leader” is one who teaches their employees how to perform to the best of their ability. They are not as compassionate as a “Parent Leader” if an employee makes a mistake, rather they discipline the employee, correct the error and may have to micro-manage the employee until they prove they are able to perform up to the “coach’s” standards. They are great motivators and encourage teamwork to achieve company goals and encourage employees to finish projects. They recognize top performers with praise, employee-of-the-month honors and sometimes bonuses.

Leadership Style #3: The Umpire

The umpire of the game is responsible to ensure the rules of the game are followed to exactness and must have an eye for the tiniest of details. They have to make tough calls if a player is out or safe, sometimes with split seconds to decide. They have zero compassion for who’s trying their best or who deserves to win the game. They have a black and white view of the way the game is played and they must enforce the rules.

An “Umpire Leader” is one who has no concern for the people they manage. They are very stringent about company policies and procedures. They are strict about employees being a minute late or not finishing their work on time. They have no sympathy for personal problems affecting the employees and they demand results and timelines. They don’t care if you tried your best and they are not concerned about your technique or helping you improve. They rule by the book and it’s their way or the highway.

umpire leadership

Managing The Triple Play

When we look at these three examples, it’s important as a leader that you find a balanced leadership style and learn to possess portions of each style. Having too much of one style will not allow you to be a successful leader. You’ll also find that you need to manage certain employees with a different balance of leadership styles than with another. Some employees and/or industries may require more structure, discipline and strict deadlines while other employees and/or industries require more compassion and caring. It’s important to know what balance works best for you and your team.

A day at the office can be just as fun and euphoric as a night at the ballpark. All you need is the right balance of leadership styles infused with passion and determination.

It wouldn’t hurt to also have a “Wacky-Wardrobe Wednesday”, a “Foot-Long Friday” or a “Seventh-Inning Stretch” from time to time! Heck, just take your team to the ballpark, enjoy the real-deal experience while teaching them these three leadership styles and write it all off as a “Leadership Training” expense. ;)

Jarum Stone
Training & Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions
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Workers Compensation Basics for Temporary Employees

Workers Compensation Basics and FAQ for Temporary Employees

Providing a safe work environment is my top priority at Your Employment Solutions (YES). I hope you never have to refer to this information but in the event of an accident, this information should provide you with good insight into how workers compensation works for temporary employees.

Let’s start with a few stats about staffing.

According to the American Staffing Association, in 2013 staffing firms hired over 11 million employees in the Unites States. YES is a small contributor to that market but in 2014 we hired over 7,000 employees for over 100 different companies in Utah.

workers compensationThat’s a lot of people to keep safe!

We do our best to properly educate our employees and coordinate safety efforts with our clients to prevent injuries, but unfortunately some people still get injured at work. I partner with the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) of Utah to ensure they get the proper treatment they need so they don’t miss work and so they heal as quickly as possible.

Now here are a few stats regarding workplace injuries.

The average injury rate in the US, as reported by the Bureau of Labor statistics, is 3.3 injuries a year for every 100 employees. That’s one injury for every 30 employees. YES employed over 7,000 employees in 2014 and our injury rate was just over 1.5% or 1 injuries for every 66 employees we hire. That’s more than two times better than the national average! Not too shabby!

So, let’s start with those Workers Compensation basic FAQs:

#1) How to report a claim?

It’s very important to your health and important for the proper handling of your injury, to report any injury, no matter how slight, immediately.

Report it to your direct supervisor and then to your staffing agency’s safety manager. That’s me! I’ll file the claim with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah (WCF) and we will manage the claim until you’re better.

#2) Who pays for Workers Compensation coverage?

Your employer is required to provide workers compensation coverage wherever you work. Employees, temporary or not, should not have to pay for their own workers compensation coverage.

#3) How does lost-time compensation work?

If you are injured on the job, and the doctor believes you are unable to work – or – your employer is not able to accommodate your doctors recommended work restrictions, WCF will pay you two-thirds (66%) of your average weekly wage as “lost time” compensation. If you average $400 per week, your compensation will be about $264 per week. In addition, they will continue to pay your medical expenses associated with that work related industry.

YES strives to provide work for injured employees while they are healing form a work-related injury so you don’t have lost-time compensation and so you don’t have reduced income.

#4) What if you don’t feel like working due to lingering pain?

It’s understandable that after an injury, you may be sore and have lingering pain. However, if the doctor believes you can still work and your employer offers you some modified employment, you have the right to refuse the offer. However, beware that refusing to accept employment that meets your doctor’s recommendations will result in the loss of some or all of your lost-time compensation.

Studies have shown that returning to work, even while still in some pain or discomfort improve your morale and speed up the healing process. For this reason we always encourage you to return to work when possible.

#5) What do I do if I think my supervisor is asking me to do something I think is unsafe?

You have a right to a safe work environment and you have a right to refuse a task or work process you feel is not safe. It’s recommended you discuss the situation with your supervisor or a safety manager rather than just quitting or refusing to work.

Talk with them about your concerns and only proceed once you are comfortable with the safety of the work process. Ultimately, if you are not comfortable with a job or work process, even though it may be safe, you have a right to look for a job more suitable to your comfort level.

In closing, it’s safe to say that preventing an injury is the best way to avoid pain and to avoid having to work with the Workers Compensation Fund.

In addition to keeping yourself safe, we recommend you also keep an eye on your co-workers in order to keep them safe as well. If everyone is looking out for everyone around them, I know we could see our injury rate drop from 1.5% to near zero. And that’s a goal we can all be happy with!

If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to give leave a comment below, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. I’d be happy to help!

And don’t forget to: SAY YES TO SAFETY!

Jarum Stone
Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions
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Helpful links, resources and sources for the information provided above:

Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Injury statistics

Workers Compensation Fund of Utah

American Staffing Association: National staffing statistics

Utah Labor Commission: Utah injury statistics

Previous safety blog post and injury prevention video:

Top 10 Safety Hazards

Top 10 Safety Hazards in Warehouse & Production Jobs

Safety hazards pop up almost everywhere we go. Taking proper care in hazardous circumstances can make all the difference in the world in determining safe passage. Especially on the job.

One thing that makes Your Employment Solutions the best staffing agency in Utah is our involvement with safety. We make “safety” a synonymous word with “staffing.”

During the more than 14 years that I’ve been a Safety Manager at Your Employment Solutions, I’ve been lucky to have a wonderful workplace safety partnership with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah. With the education, tools and expertise that the WCF provides us, we do our best to pass along that education to our employees about the hazards that exist in their future workplace. We customize workplace safety training and I take time to tour facilities regularly to seek out potential on-site safety hazards and to ensure safe practices are being followed.

I’ve come up with a Top 10 list (no particular order) of the most common safety hazards new employees need to know before they start a new job in a blue-collar setting. Hopefully they will help you understand the importance of keeping yourself, your employees and others around you safe on the job.
pay attention

Safety Hazard 1 | Not paying attention

Always be thinking about workplace safety. Almost all injuries are preventable but not thinking and not paying close attention are the leading cause of all workplace injuries. Watch out for safety hazards for yourself and for others around you. There is NEVER a good reason NOT to be safe at work.

slips and tripsSafety Hazard 2 | Slips and Trips

Wet floors indoors, or icy floors outdoors, can cause you to slip. Watch for liquids on the walkways and be sure to clean them up or notify the cleaning crew immediately. Ensure you always use a handrail when available. If you see objects on the floor in walkways be sure to pick them up and not just step over them.
workplace falls

Safety Hazard 3 | Falls

Falling from a height of 4ft and above can cause broken bones and even death. Do not climb above 4ft on the job unless you are wearing a proper harness or proper fall protection is in place.

Safety Hazard 4 | Fires

A fire in the workplace can be very dangerous so be sure to find the nearest fire extinguishers and become familiar with the nearest emergency exits to avoid confusion in the event of a fire.

Safety Hazard 5 | Crushing

Do not climb into machines without ensuring proper lock-out/tag-out has occurred. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not walk between forklifts and stationary objects. Do not attempt to lift items that are too heavy. Ask for help lifting or moving heavy and/or unstable loads.
hazardous chemicals

Safety Hazard 6 | Hazardous Chemicals

Be sure to always understand the chemicals that are in or around you work area. Do not mix chemicals without consulting the user guides or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Ensure proper ventilation and use proper respirators as required.
workplace safety

Safety Tip 7 | Ergonomics

Be sure to always stretch before, during and after work to avoid strains and sprains that come from basic repetitive work movements. Wear proper footwear and be sure to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries.

RELATED POST: Workplace Safety

Safety Hazard 8 | Moving Parts of Machines

Pay attention to labels and safeguarding on machines. Never reach into a live machine. Watch for pinch-points. Do not wear baggy/loose clothing or loose jewelry that may get caught in machines. Learn where emergency stop buttons are located.

safety hazardsSafety Hazard 9 | Falling Objects

Use proper stacking and unstacking techniques to avoid products falling onto body parts. Seek help when lifting heavy or oversized objects. Wear hardhats in designated areas.
safety hazards forklift

Safety Hazard 10 | Heavy Equipment Accidents

Forklifts are as just as heavy as a car and move almost as quickly in the workplace. Always watch where you are going and do not walk in front or behind a forklift without making eye-contact with the driver so they know you are there.

If you are injured, follow these steps:

  1. Notify your lead or supervisor AND notify Your Employment Solutions! Y.E.S. will authorize medical treatment if necessary.

If your company could benefit from using Utah’s safest staffing agency, don’t hesitate to give me a call and see how I can customize a solution to make “safety” and “staffing” synonymous words for your business.

Jarum Stone
Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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I hope this list of workplace hazards helps you stay safe on the job!

YES Employee Spotlight – September 2014

Have We Created a Utah Staffing YES Dynasty?

At Your Employment Solutions we want to work with the best people in Utah. That's part of what has set us apart from average staffing companies: our people!

employee spotlight

Thank You Danielle Freideman | September Employee Spotlight

This month’s employee spotlight falls on Danielle Freideman. Danielle has worked hard in a variety of roles at YES, and she's a central reason we have been so successful in helping people find good jobs out of our Ogden, Utah office.

Danielle is a working mother who is all about family, trucks, the outdoors, and Duck Dynasty.

We asked her to answer 11 questions about work and life. Here’s what she had to say:

1. Five things you enjoy.

  • Being with my kids
  • Supporting my family / Competing at the truck pulls
  • Fly Fishing
  • Cleaning
  • Trips to Alaska

2. Three things you don’t.

  • When people change their favorite professional teams YEARLY! If your team is terrible, then just let them be terrible for awhile.
  • When I am woken up from anyone, besides my kids, even 2 minutes before my alarm clock!
  • Dirty laundry laying around or a messy house.

3. What do you like most about working at YES.

All the people I get to work with everyday. Also, how understanding and caring our bosses are!

4. What do you think would make YES better?

That's a tough one… It's already pretty great.

5. If you could meet anyone, who?

It would have to be Kay Robertson. Such a sweet lady, and has such great values! She raised some well-mannered Boys! …..Or maybe i'd just like to meet all of the Robertsons.

6. Your favorite place on Earth.

Would have to be Alaska. SOOO pretty!! (I’d move there in a heartbeat)

7. You’re a successful working mother. Any advice for other working moms out there?

When Things are pretty rough, they probably will only get rougher, so just keep your head up anyway and pick yourself up, it will only make you stronger as a person, and a mother!

8. What is the number one challenge you face in your job?

Would have to be, accepting that sometimes I am wrong.

9. What do you think is the best way to meet that challenge?

Just admitting it, because after, you feel so much better!

10. What would you tell someone looking into working with YES?

Once you work here, you’ll never want to leave!

11. You have to take the president and vice president of YES, Reed Laws and Kerry Westenskow on a duck hunt. Which of them would make the best duck call? Why?

I have to take both? They most likely would cause too much ruckus! So… I’d ONLY want to take Kerry… and ONLY because he likes Duck Dynasty, so he may have a few techniques on making them, or what they are supposed to sound like.

Great, we'll get Kerry started on growing out his beard right away.

employee spotlight

Thank you Danielle for all you do to help us all work better!

Jarum Stone
Operations Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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Temporary Jobs or Stepping Stones?

Step into your Dream Job with Your Employment Solutions

“Temporary jobs” have been given a bad reputation over the years. They are looked down upon as being a waste of time and only for people who can’t find “real jobs.”

Despite the negative reputation, temporary jobs are actually major contributors to the employment market world wide with over 35 percent of companies stating they hire talent from staffing agencies. (Per a survey conducted by CareerBuilder)

Your Employment Solutions, Utah’s only customized staffing agency, has partnered with over 100 Utah companies to provide employment to thousands of Utahns each year.

The Upside of Temporary Jobs

There are many positives that come from working “temp jobs,” or as I like to call them “stepping-stone jobs,” such as:

  • Helps you gain a variety of skills and experience.
  • Gets you out of the house and motivated to look for work.
  • Provides income.
  • Can open the door for a long-term position.
  • Gives you an opportunity to “test drive” and employer before committing.
  • Keeps your skills and abilities sharp.
  • Prevents you from having large holes in your resume.
  • Keeps you out of the unemployment line.


Ultimately, I want to point out that temporary jobs keep you moving towards your dream job just as stepping-stone paths lead you from paint A to point B. How is that, you ask? Well, not everyone lands their dream job right out of school, or even knows what their dream job is when they get out of school. Many people go into the workplace and have a feeling of wandering and a sense of being lost. However, “Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien.

Stepping Stones to Success!

Don’t talk yourself out of taking a temporary job while you are trying to decide what your dream job really is. Take a look at this infographic. It’s a great reminder that stepping-stone jobs will not prevent you from realizing your dream job:

temporary jobs

These are a handful of well-known individuals who got their start after having worked in jobs that were not glamorous, were not high paying, were not their dream jobs, and yet they used those jobs as stepping-stones until they found their dream jobs.

From Printing Press to Chocolate

Another excellent example is Milton Hershey, the founder of the Hersey’s Chocolate Empire. He was a grade-school drop out (never completed 4th grade) and started to work in the printing industry. But as we know, he’s not a famous printing press operator, no, he was fired from that job and then he took a job in the candy-making industry. He used the skills he learned from that job to create the Hershey’s Chocolate Company in 1900 at the age of 43. The rest is history.

What’s your dream job? Maybe this little clip can help you remember some of your childhood dreams:

Whether you are in your 20’s and just setting out on your path to find your dream job or if you’re latter on in your life and still feeling a little lost and wandering, just keep putting one foot in front of the other on those stepping-stone temporary jobs until you find what you’re looking for.

Jarum Stone
Operations Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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P.S. If this topic interests you, I recommend you also review my other post: How to find a J-O-B you’ll L-O-V-E .