Can LeBron James Teach Us About Winning Teams?

What can LeBron James teach us about winning teams?What can LeBron James teach us about winning teams?

It’s easy to say LeBron James is an incredible basketball player. By leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Championship, he has ensured himself a place in history. To the fans here in Northern Ohio, he ended the championship drought that has lasted since 1964. Can he help you build a championship team?

What can LeBron James teach us about leading winning teams? Let’s look at how you can build a winning team culture the LeBron James Way.

I’ve followed LeBron James for many years. From his time in the AAU to his high school years at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, he was one of the most talented athletes to ever put on a jersey in Ohio. People also began to see a man who had a sense of destiny and was willing to expand the boundaries that had limited so many other young adult athletes.  So what can we learn from LeBron James the team leader?

I’ve broken down his success formula to a three step process that can help empower you to reach your goals. Having spent a lifetime watching and working with many of the world’s highest performing people. I’ve discovered a pattern that almost all share, but most are not aware of during the time they do it.

These men and women have come from many different fields, from astronaut to doctor, from entrepreneur to Olympic athlete.  They share several capabilities that anyone can master. The problem is most of us won’t even attempt to reach our own potential. Most would prefer to fail where they are rather than reaching for the stars.

The first step towards achieving your own greatness is you must have a vision of who you might become. I believe LeBron James has a vision of who he was long before he ever stepped on an NBA court. His vison was all consuming. He knew he had a gift, but he was willing to work towards a vision of being a NBA Champion.

Watch early videos of LeBron James and you see a person who knew what he wanted to achieve and worked very hard to get there. All of us have dreams, but few have such a clear picture of what we want to become. If we have a clear vision we are on our way. I would bet LeBron James has visualized the NBA Championship series hundreds, if not thousands, of times in his life. LeBron James knew that he was going to win several NBA Championships. The trick was to bring one or more home to Northern Ohio.

I believe that visualization can help take you to a different level in your performance. I’m often asked how you help others grow more quickly.  Visualization is a method I both recommend and use with my best coaching clients.

The second step towards achieving your own greatness is creating a larger mission to go with your vision. I believe that mission is what helps separate the good from the great. Most successful leaders are very good at defining their mission in terms that they can easily understand and share with others.

I’ve noticed that extraordinary men and women empower the people around them to help them on their mission. President Kennedy’s mission was so large, he helped a nation reach the moon in record time. His clear timeline and end date help achieve his mission even after his death.

LeBron James was very bold in sharing his mission with others. He was clear and concise as to what he hoped to achieve and how. What made LeBron’s mission different is the level of detail he went into to get others involved in his mission. He enlisted first his teammates and then his community. His family and sponsors all climbed aboard to help LeBron James achieve his vision and goals. He then went out to inform the world and just about anyone else who would listen.

You might think it takes a special person to lead this mission. It does, but it also takes a leader who can break things down so everyone knows what they are trying to achieve. In LeBron’s case, he actually broke it down to the number of victories it would take for them to when the Championship series. In this case he broke it down to a simple number, 16, the number of victories it required in the NBA playoffs ending in a NBA Championship Series Win.

Friday this week we will return for the final steps required to build a winning team. See you Friday!

About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with financial and advisory services clients to create an anticipatory strategy and mindset. By leveraging people and technology he breaks down barriers to combine planning and innovation in a way that increases profits and accelerates sales results.
He’s a growth strategist and internationally recognized Sage Global Business Expert and IBM Futurist who turns strategy into implementable business development activities for increasing market share, revenue, and profits. He has proven success seeing the big picture and creating new market opportunities.
Tripp can be contacted at tbraden@marketleadership.net or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s other blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Advisors.


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