Yogisms: Tenants to Guide Our Work Life

Happiness Personal leadership Respect


Key Point: We have likely all benefited from the locker room wisdom and comic philosophy of the legendary Yogi Berra. He died on Sept. 22 at the age of 90, and the event touched an affectionate memory lane nerve among baseball fans and many others. Berra was a Hall of Fame baseball catcher and manager. While Yogi’s athletic prowess is legendary, he is equally renowned for his “Yogisms.” The hilarious quips are deliciously comical and have a jumbled up way of conveying insightful and perhaps even profound meaning. I’d like to share a few, and give a little tribute to Yogi by translating them as I think they may best apply to the world of work and organization life.

Yogism 1: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” 

This phrase could guide all career planning. We could have it become the final statement of everyone’s personal development plan.

Yogism 2: “90 percent of the game is half mental.” 

This could be the opening and closing statement of every performance coaching session.

Yogism 3: “You wouldn’t have won, if we’d beaten you.”  

What we could say by default to the competition when they beat us in the market place.  “Na na nana na, you wouldn’t have won if ___” 

Yogism 4: “Make a game plan and stick to it. Unless it’s not working.” 

The practical reality of all strategic plans is summed up in this one phrase.

Yogism 5: “We made too many wrong mistakes.” 

What we should use as the opening statement in response to every customer compliant.  The self-accountability would be refreshing. 

Yogism 6: “Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.” 

This would save a lot of confusion at baggage claim when we’re all waiting for our fancy black Tumi bags. A productivity strategy for frequent fliers. 

Yogism 7: “All pitchers are liars or crybabies.” 

We just change it to: “All sales people are liars or crybabies.” Everyone agrees (haha)!

Yogism 8: “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”

A reminder to be confident AND very humble.

Yogism 9: “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” 

This is the phrase we should carve in a giant boulder outside all of our offices. We each would have to touch it on the way out.

Yogism 10:  “It was impossible to get a conversation going. Everybody was talking too much.”

This ideally would be a huge poster in every meeting room. Company efficiency and productivity would dramatically improve if we listened to it. (My own little Yogism… Haha).

Character Moves: 

  1. Every once in a while, when things are crazy busy, chaotic and seemingly out of control, it might be helpful to think what Yogi Berra might say to put it all in perspective. The pause and laugh might be very therapeutic. 90 percent of the stuff is “half mental” anyways, right? 

Yogi in The Triangle

– Lorne Rubis

One Millennial View: People like Yogi Berra just “got it.” These quips are so tongue-in-cheek, observational and smart: They are the sneakiest wolf in a dumb sheep’s clothing. Every organization needs people like Yogi: The icebreakers, the ignorant bliss advocators, and the stress relievers. I’m a fan of “Dad jokes,” and elderly “bahhh, get off my lawn!!” rants. They just crack me up. So, of course I knew of Yogi Berra and his famous quotes, but since his passing, it’s proven that this guy was just one of those top notch individuals that transcends generations. He has fans of all ages who will forever refer to Yogisms to celebrate his life.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis