I came across an interesting article this morning on FastCompany.com (color me surprised!) titled, "The Texas Rangers' Young GM".
I'll admit - as a baseball fan going back to the Mets title in '86, I never thought I'd see a 30-yr old GM (Jon Daniels). This certainly breaks my perception of the old Salty-Dog ballplayer with gray hair, a potbelly for the ages, and a pack of chew hanging out of his pocket.
The more I think about how Daniels could be promoted to GM after only 3 years of experience (literally, he started out at a salary of $30k in October of 2005), the more I reflect on the notion of "fit". I say that because, obviously, Daniels was not a "fit" in terms of widely accepted baseball norms. However, he was a "fit" in terms of the change needed for the Rangers - sometimes, you have to overtly shake the foundation of blindly accepted Sacred Cows in order to create change. It's not easy to permeate a shift in mindset when the new leader looks and acts just like the old, regardless of their actions or schools of thought.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you have to shake up the comfort zone - and people have to see it happening. Will there be resulting turnover? You bet. Will there be fan defection? You bet. But you have to be willing to go through the surgery if you want to heal yourself - it's uncomfortable in most cases, but necessary.