Come on…Give Me A Second Chance

Tomorrow night, October 2nd, Adam Greenberg will get the ultimate second chance! Back on July 9, 2005, Adam came to home plate for the first time as a member of the Chicago Cubs.  Valerio de los Santos pitched for the Miami Marlins and hit Greenberg in the back of the helmet with the pitch.

Adam’s helmet flew off and he fell to the ground. That one brief moment was all Adam Greenberg had as a Major League Baseball player. He experienced his best moment and worst moment of his short career in a matter of seconds. It’s reminiscent of the character, Archie “Moonlight” Graham in Field of Dreams, who has a one-game career in the Majors. However, in the movie Archie gets a second chance to make it back to the big leagues.

Well life can imitate art. Enter Matt Liston, an avid baseball fan and documentary film maker, who initiated a campaign to give Adam his second chance at batting in the Major League – check out Since 2005 Adam Greenberg spent the past several years playing in the minor leagues as well as independent leagues, and while he isn’t expecting to get an offer from the Majors, he would LOVE a second chance to be up to bat one more time in a Major League game.

Well, the big campaign worked and last week David Sampson, President of the Miami Marlins, offered Adam a one-day contract to play for the team and get that second chance against the New York Mets. It’s a dream come true!

This inspirational story got me thinking about second chances. Have you ever had one? Have you ever given someone a second chance?

In business and life in general, the drive for perfection and the desire to be the best can be all-consuming! I’m all for having goals and doing your best, but let’s face it. We are human and humans make mistakes. We are not perfect and never will be.

I’ve worked in environments where making mistakes was not acceptable and it drives behaviors that are undesirable and damaging.

Behaviors like:

  • Never admitting fault
  • Pointing the finger and placing blame on others
  • Never taking a risk – playing it safe with the status quo
  • Never identifying a training need or area for professional development
  • Stifling creativity
  • Reluctance to truly delegate responsibility with authority
All of which makes for a dreadful workplace and the best and brightest won’t stand for it!
The way in which a leader sets a challenging, productive and fun — yes, FUN — tone in the workplace has a lot to do with how you deal with mistakes. Here are a few ideas about how to make the most from the mistakes you and your team WILL make:
  • Use them as learning moments – talk about what happened and ask questions to help the employee/team discover what went wrong and what could be done differently next time.
  • Determine if you need to provide more structure by having regular status/check-in meetings so you can coach along the way as needed.
  • Admit your own mistakes and model behaviors that make it safe for others to admit mistakes and work the path to correct the mistake.
  • Finally, offer grace and forgiveness.
Second chances offer redemption and hope. There is an opportunity to do better. To be better.
Let’s face it, a little redemption, hope and opportunity in our lives make for a magical combination for the human spirit!


Martha Duesterhoft if a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @MDuesterhoft or connect via email at