It’s playoff season again, and Red Sox fans will ruefully remember the American League playoffs of 1999 against the Yankees, when amateur umpires made two monumentally bad calls favoring Yankee second baseman Chuck Knoblauch in Games One and Four, killing a big Boston rally in both cases. The Yankees won that contest four games to one, and led by a young Derek Jeter, went on to sweep the World Series. But any true baseball fan will tell you: it should have been closer!

Why were there amateur umps on the field in 1999? Striking union umps lost their jobs because Richie Phillips, the negotiator for the umpires union, failed to utilize this one basic truth of the Camp

System: Never forget your mission and purpose (M&P).

What Is A Sound M&P?

Your mission and purpose is what you really do, who you are, and what you have to offer. It should guide all your decisions. When negotiating something like a labor union contract, I encourage negotiators to be uncompromising in getting what they want. But you have to remember what a sound M&P is. It can’t just be, “We want more money.” Your M&P has to show why giving you what you want will actually benefit the other party. If you don’t, you can end up out in the cold like Richie Phillips and the 22 umps who lost their jobs in 1999.

When Negotiators Are Arrogant Rather Than Smart

In 1999, Major League Baseball umpires must have thought their mission and purpose was to show the lords of baseball that they couldn’t get along without the umpires. Bad thinking! They were blinded by their incorrect assessment, and some of them paid with their jobs.

Their M&P should have been to get the players, the fans, and the lords of the game to see that …read more