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Leadership Lessons From Lebron James by Forbes

SleepwalkingInJapan Members Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2012 in From the Cheap Seats
If Lebron James were a brand, which of course he is, he just completed one of the most thorough and positive transformations in a one-year period as any brand ever could. Here are four fundamental leadership lessons from that experience.

He acknowledged failure and confronted it directly.
By all accounts, last year’s failure in the NBA Finals (in which the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2, and Lebron played an uncharacteristically passive, ineffective role) was a devastating personal experience. Lebron had gone from being King James to being the butt of jokes. (Did you hear, someone asked Lebron for change for a dollar and he gave them 75 cents – he didn’t have a fourth quarter!) Following a period of withdrawal and introspection, he acknowledged he had not performed up to his normal standards and resolved to improve.

He recognized change was needed.
Lebron spent a good deal of time in last year’s off-season working with Hakeem Olajuwon, now retired but one of the NBA’s best low post players ever, to improve that aspect of his game – his ability to play close to, and drive to, the basket. It was a fundamentally different approach to Lebron’s offensive repertoire, but it made eminent good sense: In addition to being one of the NBA’s best ballhandlers, he’s also one of the strongest players, almost unstoppable close to the basket.

He developed a sound strategic plan.
As this year’s playoffs evolved, it was evident Lebron had a clear plan in place. 1) Attack the basket relentlessly, and 2) Take control when the game is on the line. Put simply, it was the antithesis of his more passive approach in last year’s finals. This time around he sought and took full responsibility. To whom much is given, much is expected…

He executed that plan with focus and discipline.
As management guru Tom Peters would say, Lebron did an exceptional job in this year’s finals “sticking to his knitting.” He stayed with his strengths, executing with discipline, attacking the basket relentlessly, never being passive, and maintaining control of the action at the most critical fourth-quarter junctures. As anyone who watched these recent finals knows, he executed his plan with single-minded focus. A statistical comparison to the prior year? 2011 finals: Lebron – 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. 2012 finals: Lebron – 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.

The overall results? Miami Heat 4, Oklahoma City Thunder 1. Finals MVP. An incremental endorsement boom for Lebron estimated at some $10 million. A resurrected brand, arguably stronger than ever.

Businesses take note: Based on failure, analysis, insight, hard work and willingness to change, Lebron completed as successful a one-year turnaround as any enterprise could ever hope for.


  • SleepwalkingInJapan
    SleepwalkingInJapan Members Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2012
    For LeBron James, Ring Worth At Least $10 Million

    King James is now truly the king.

    NBA Most Valuable player for the third time, MVP of the Finals and of course, his first championship ring. Figure a good chance of an Olympic gold medal this summer, too. LeBron James has answered the critics, playing with focus, controlled zeal, his eye always on the prize. When his Miami Heat trailed Boston three games to two in the Eastern Conference Final, he exploded for 45 points and 15 rebounds for a huge road win that kept his club’s march to the title alive. Efforts like that are what earn fans’ admiration. Even those fans that aren’t predisposed to like you. And sports marketing experts say he’s about to cash in big time.

    “Expect to see a lot of LeBron in the next month or two, in ads, on talk shows and in London,” says Bob Dorfman of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco.

    While he’s considered polarizing – disliked by a large swath of fans who didn’t like the way he handled his “decision” to switch teams two summers ago – LeBron still rakes in about $40 million annually in endorsement money. He ranked first among team sport players on Forbes’ recent list of highest-earning athletes, and fourth overall. Yet Dorfman figures that James could easily add to his endorsement dough by $10 million or so.

    LeBron has the good fortune of winnng his first ring in an Olympic year. The 2012 Games, Dorfman thinks, provide the perfect platform for leveraging the new and improved brand brought on by the new NBA hardware. “He will likely be featured even more by his sponsors during the London Games,” he says. In addition to Nike, State Farm and other blue chip brands, Dorfman figures there’s room for LeBron to expand to financial institutions, autos and more - if he chooses. And if the price is right. As Dorfman puts in: “You better have at least seven figures to offer.”
  • ATTS
    ATTS Members Posts: 6,663 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah...he earned it this yr... bron thoughtvit was gonna be just handed over to him. .you have to work for it
  • SleepwalkingInJapan
    SleepwalkingInJapan Members Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • ShadyWorldOrder
    ShadyWorldOrder Members Posts: 711 ✭✭✭✭