The 2017 Houston Astros: A Blueprint for Success

Congratulations to our hometown Houston Astros!

It has been over 55 years in the making, but 2017 calls the Houston Astros World Series Champions! And what an amazing impact the team has had on a city in the midst of recovering from Hurricane Harvey. In fact, the city went from flooding with over 40 inches of rain to over 1 million people flooding the streets of downtown Houston to welcome their world champions home.

So, what was the formula for the Astros success? (By the way it is a very similar formula used by the Chicago Cubs to win the 2016 World Series!) A formula that even Sports Illustrated recognized that, if followed, predicted this World Series win back in 2014 by putting the Astros on their cover claiming them the 2017 World Champs. They followed a blueprint for performance success that we use with our clients, Employee-led (player led), Leader Supported (manager guided) and organizationally enabled.


For more information on our ELO model for performance, please download our whitepaper here.

The quest for this 2017 Championship began over 55 years ago but really accelerated when Jim Crane, the current owner, purchased the Astros in November of 2011 and began to enable success. He first hired Jeff Luhnow from the St. Louis Cardinals in December 2011 to be his General Manager. Jeff’s formula for success truly mirror’s our organizational model for our client’s performance, Employee-Led (player-led), Leader Supported (Manager support), and Organization Enabled (Astros ownership and GM). You cultivate a purpose driven culture, enable success by investing in your talent, providing that talent with the right and best resources, and support them with leadership, not management, that develops the leader in everyone in the organization regardless of role or position, from an MVP player to a groundskeeper. The players will tell you, the goal each day did not focus on winning, the focus was on making each other great. If each of us will do that, then success and winning is the natural result.

Jeff then further enabled the organization by hiring A.J. Hinch, a leader that promotes and cultivates the very culture Luhnow was trying to develop. A.J. inspires, brings energy, connects with, and develops each and every player. He doesn't direct, control, or manage his players. He supports them and shows confidence in them even when they struggle. He knows and relates to each and every player, understanding that each brings a unique and special talent and contributes in different ways.

The right talent, guided by the right purpose, supported by the right leader, enables the right success.

Finally, A.J. enables success by letting his players lead, not controlling them. He is there to guide and support, not to micromanage them. The players go out each day with their task to contribute to a larger more meaningful purpose, to make each other great! And when new talent is added to the roster throughout the year, it is the culture and players that lead the way to guide and ensure success of each and every member of the Astros organization. The right talent, guided by the right purpose, supported by the right leader, enables the right success. The Houston Astros followed a very familiar blueprint for success; Employee-led, Leader Supported, and Organization Enabled. Want to know how this model for success might work in your organization? Click here to find out.

Congratulations to our Houston Astros, 2017 World Series Champions!


Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in developing a dynamic and customized blue print to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.