LeBron James is a great basketball player. The superstar who plays for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association is considered by many to be the greatest player on the planet right now. Some say he may eventually be considered the greatest ever, but we won’t know that for at least a few more years.
LeBron is a fiery competitor. He plays with a great deal of passion and it’s clear from his enthusiasm that winning is very important to him. This passion has helped James achieve tremendous success as he has been on two NBA Championship winning teams, and has won four most valuable player awards and two Olympic gold medals.
Those of you who read often, know how I feel about passion and enthusiasm. I think they are significantly important qualities of effective leadership and LeBron James is an example that certainly supports this thought. But this past week, LeBron James displayed for us the importance of keeping passion and enthusiasm under control.
At a timeout in a game this week, LeBron jumped out of his seat and into the face of his teammate Mario Chalmers. LeBron was upset with Chalmers and made his feelings clear during this timeout. It was an aggressive action in which LeBron’s emotions got the best of him. To his credit, LeBron quickly gathered himself and apologized to Chalmers right there in the same timeout. LeBron admitted he was wrong and made sure Chalmers knew this.
LeBron provided a few leadership lessons for us this week. First, passion and enthusiasm are important qualities for leaders. LeBron’s many accomplishments are due, at least in part, to his passion for the game of basketball. Second, passion is an intense emotion. It can easily get out of control and it’s your job as the leader to manage this passion and your other emotions. Harness your emotions so you capture all the benefits of intense emotions but don’t let them be a detriment to your leadership. Lastly, we all make mistakes. Great leaders admit their mistakes, apologize, and move on. This is not always easy, but the great leaders have the strength and courage to admit when they are wrong.
LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players in the world. And the lessons we learned from this example can help us move closer to being great leaders.
Thanks for reading,
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Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62510-731-2