Integrity Matters Broadcasts

May 28 , 2008

Excellence, self-discipline, humility

Dear Friends: 

My wife, Jane, and I were guests of our special friend, Susan Merrill, on Friday evening, May 23, when - TEAM USA - the 2008 United States Olympic Softball Team played an exhibition game in Salinas, California, against a local – high performing team - Salinas Storm.  Team USA stopped in Monterey County to visit the home town of one of their stars, Monica Abbott, while raising funds for their travels to Beijing later this summer. 

Monica Abbott, Salinas, California (University of Tennessee ‘07), Pitcher, is the youngest player on the team, a two-time member of the National Team. She has also competed as a member of the 2004 World University Team and 2003 Junior Team. Abbott led the pitching staff in 2007 with a 6-0 record for a 0.00 ERA. In 26.2 innings pitched, she issued no walks and no earned runs.

So, there we were, watching an exciting and maybe a once-in-a-lifetime event, along side about 3500 others – cheering the local team – encouraging them to perform at their best.  And, simultaneously, we wanted our nation’s Olympic Team to confirm their excellence – on the field and off.  And, from every perspective, we were proud and very satisfied. The game was not as much about winning as savoring superior athletic performance and honoring a local talent who has reached the pinnacle of her sport – representing the United States in the Olympic Games.

Following the game, which the Olympians won 10 to 0; Jane and I were privileged to share a quiet conversation and a meal with one of the members of the team.  At our table was # 33, Stacey Nuveman, TEAM USA catcher, who had just hit a home run and a double while managing to catch another great game. To read more about the game: 


Susan Merrill, Stacey Nuveman and Jane Bracher

Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, California (UCLA ’02), Catcher,  helps to lead the team with experience; returning to her third Olympic roster after being an integral part in both the 2000 and 2004 gold medal victories. She had the only hit of the 2000 gold medal game and a homerun in the 2004 gold medal game. Nuveman returns to the squad after taking off the 2007 season with the birth of her son, Chase.

Excellence and self-discipline are descriptions of Stacey Nuveman.  This 30-year old world-class athlete is professional, articulate, proud, personable and humble.  She balances her own stardom as an athlete with being a wife, mother and potentially a media commentator.  Her dedication and her ability to multi-task are certainly tested as she weaves her schedule around marriage, motherhood, TEAM USA along side her longer-term career objectives.

So, what is the message? 

  1. A local athlete remembered her roots.  Monica Abbott came home.
  2. A local community took the time to say thank you to a former resident, allowing her to say thank you for the opportunities afforded her.  The City of Salinas, North High School and lots of local fans joined together to create a venue to say:  Congratulations!  We are proud of you!
  3. TEAM USA, a gathering of world-class athletes from all over the United States, stepped back and gave center stage – and the spotlight - to one of their own – in this instance, to Monica Abbott, to show her their support, respect and appreciation.

Seems the success message remains the same:

  1. Remember who you are and where you came from. 
  2. Accept, graciously, the sincere praise of colleagues.
  3. Share recognition, generously, maintaining a true sense of humility.

Young women, from TEAM USA, before, during and after their May 23 exhibition game in Salinas, reminded us that an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008, which is their definition of excellence, will be by-product of a good working team.  From what we saw and felt, they are well on their way.

A T.E.A.M. is brought together in order to have its competencies and complementary talents deployed. TEAM excellence demands preparedness, self-discipline and humility, along with a commitment to operate, with integrity, in the following ways:





We are, now more than ever, in need of a solid TEAM – everywhere:  at home, at work and in the interdependent global village.


James F. Bracher  

Dimension Five Consultants, Inc. 
Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership  
P.O. Box 22467

Carmel, California  93922  

And at: 
James F. (Jim) Bracher, Director
Executives in Residence
University Corporation at Monterey Bay
California State University Monterey Bay 
100 Campus Center,  
Building 201 - Suite 101
Seaside, California  93955
Phone: (831) 582-5015
Phone:  direct: (831) 582-5038
(831) 582-5019 Fax

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