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Dusty Baker On Team Culture

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Dusty Baker, Manager for the MLB's Houston Astros, is a PCA National Advisory Board Member. His career is highlighted by four division championships and by being named National League Manager of the Year three times by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. From 1968 to 1986, Baker played for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics as an outfielder. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1981 and was twice an All Star and earned a Gold Glove Award in 1981. He also managed the Giants, Cubs and Reds.

In this clip, Baker talks about the importance of team culture for success. His approach as a manager was to develop the team into a family. This method allowed for disagreements, because family members don’t always get along, but at the core everyone supports each other when facing an opponent. With a diverse group of people coming together on a team, it’s unrealistic to completely avoid differences and disagreements, so creating a family allows for togetherness and diversity.

One technique Baker uses to develop this family culture is to use food to drive relationships. It can be difficult to unite different types of people, but food can be a great way to lower tensions and bring cultures together. He suggests having teammates bring food from their homes or cultures to share with the team.