If I Was Running A Company…Teaching

The economy is down and unemployment numbers are up. I know people are sick of hearing it, but it’s the truth.  Although I live in the DC area and fortunate the numbers are not as high as other areas, unemployment went up from the previous year and there is no idea where it is heading. Then, I found one market that really needs people badly: Schools.

This is from an NPR story I heard about Michelle Rhee’s first year as D.C. School Chancellor and the result has been stunning.  This leads me that if you can’t find a job in an office, why not a classroom?  Teaching is not that far off from going to the workforce: stress, annoying people, planning, things you don’t want to do, etc.  However, it could lead to success down the line.

My favorite story is about Joseph Molloy, who was a teacher in Tampa in the 80s and met the love of his life, Jessica.  The both got married the following year after they met.  What’s important was not the marriage, but who Joe married to…he married George Steinbrenner’s daughter.  After getting married, Joe moved to New York to join the Yankees and be part of the front office.  In 1990, Fay Vincent, commissioner of MLB at the time, banned George for paying people to get dirt on Dave Winfield.  This means the Yankees had to find a new general managing partner.  The Yankees asked George’s sons to take over, but they we’re not ready. They had a theatre owner take charge for 16 months, but the person resigned.  Finally, in 1992, the Yankees decide that Joe Molloy would be the new general managing partner of the Yankees and it made a definite impact.

The old Yankee way at the time was get the best players available.  When Molloy stepped in, the atmosphere change from spenders to long-term development.  Molloy’s key move was keeping the No. 6 pick in the 1992 Amateur Draft to select a high school kid named Derek Jeter.  George came back to the Yankees in 1994 and saw Molloy’s footprints in the team.  During Molloy’s 6-year tenure with the Yankees, the team went to the playoffs in Molloy’s last 3 seasons with the team and won a World Series in 1996. In 1997, Joe and Jessica separated and divorced, which led to his resignation in early 1998.

Currently, Joe Molloy is a school principal in the Tampa area, has four kids, and is paying bills like the rest of us.  From the ending, it would seem it took a turn for the worse.  From the ESPN story, he wishes he had a wife and not dating anyone and that’s a sign of misery.  Instead, he loves to be the normal guy and he loves to teach and be around with kids.  What Molloy experience in the 1990s was a dream (or a nightmare if you want to count the divorce) most want to be part of and enjoy it, but even loves what he is doing now.

There are two points I want to make from the Molloy story: one, teaching can develop your leadership and decision skills and understanding your strengths and weaknesses.  The other is you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.  There is a lot of competition for office jobs, so why not develop your skills and transfer it to a different generation who are going to be leaders in 20 years.  To me, a legacy is much greater than any accomplishment you’re going to have.  Molloy has a World Series ring to prove his accomplishment, but his leagacy with the Yankees (and the kids) still remains.

Side note: I use to hate the Yankees with distaste because they win so many times and had an unlimited budget.  Reading the Molloy story, it changes my view of how I view the Yankees dynasty… for the better.

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