Personal Agency equips us to act authentically and skillfully in challenging moments that are much easier to avoid. It’s demonstrated here in Altuve’s decision to give McCullers tough feedback. On the scoreboard, the World Champion Houston Astros lost the game while highlighting leadership and genuine accountability.

What’s the essence?

  • Under pressure, McCullers reacts immaturely and derisively to a teammate’s error.
  • McCullers attempts to continue as if it didn’t happen. (Making you the weird one if you actually took it personally. Gaslighting anyone?)
  • The Astros Manager could have scolded McCullers but, a teammate got to him first. Whose feedback (manager or teammate) likely holds more sway with McCullers? Hint: Respected colleague wins easily over hierarchy every time.
  • The exchange is passionate, immediate, crystal clear, private, for the good of the team- not for Altuve’s ego.

Why does it stand out? Because in real life:

  • Eyes roll, and everyone fist bumps in the dugout or hallway like it never happened.
  • The behavior has an unchecked negative impact on the human beings involved, especially when it goes unaddressed.
  • Team trust has just taken a hit. If it keeps happening, what this team can accomplish will grow smaller. Like the commentator said, Gurriel wasn’t trying to make an error – he may save McCullers later in the game. Altuve’s response allows McCullers to understand the importance of his role and of his impact on the team. That’s a teaching moment and it’s 100x better than anything that could happen in a classroom.

Altuve showed up. Here’s how:

  • Passion for what was happening that moment, and even more so for the team’s future.
  • Develop a bias for immediate, respectful communication. Never be too busy to teach.
  • This didn’t become a rhubarb because Altuve had his team’s welfare top of mind. Gut-check your intention.

Astro’s Lance McCullers Jr. apologies for being ‘immature’ after heated exchange with Jose Altuve.