Leadership

World Series-winning Cubs manager: This is the surefire way to halt success

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016, in Cleveland.
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The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016, in Cleveland.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon helped break a 108-year championship drought last year when his team clinched the 2016 World Series over the Cleveland Indians.

This year, Maddon has a new challenge: Winning back-to-back titles, which no team has done since the New York Yankees took home their third straight championship in 2000.

It's a tall order, but Maddon is sure of one thing: Despite his team's historic 2016 win, they aren't going to be getting comfortable anytime soon. "This year, I want our guys to be uncomfortable," he tells David Axelrod on The Axe Files podcast.

Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs
Jim McIsaac | Getty Images
Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs

"You really want to avoid the potential for complacency," he continues. "If you're uncomfortable, growth continues. If you're comfortable, growth diminishes."

One of the ways Maddon and his team will stay uncomfortable is by continuing to "dress uncomfortably," he says. The Cubs manager is known for his themed road trips, which is pictured in the tweet below. It's a way for his players to find "comfort in the uncomfortable," ESPN reports.

"You walk into a hotel lobby and this is something you would have never done. People are going to stare," Maddon tells Axelrod. "I think that has a positive impact when you go out and play a game [and] get in a crucial moment. That uncomfortable situation you went through is going to play out in a positive way at some point."

Research supports Maddon's theory. According to Richard St. John, who interviewed hundreds of highly motivated and accomplished individuals for his book "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common," the world's highest achievers are never complacent.

Successful people continually push themselves out of their comfort zones and are always improving, "whether it's their career, project, product or service," St. John writes. In other words, they're always uncomfortable.

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