LeBron Now Knows
Cleveland waited 13,322 days. For 13,322 days fans held their breath. Four years adds up to 13,322 days of losing, and not being a part of the sports world. The Q, the building where the Cavaliers play, waited 13,322 days to be relevant once again. LeBron James took the court for the first time as an official CAVALIER in the team’s first pre-season game. When the announcer introduced each player on each team’s roster, one thing went by seemingly unnoticed. LeBron came out of the tunnel last. He was last to be introduced.
Since training camp opened a few weeks ago, he has seemingly made himself smaller and the other players bigger. He has tossed the spotlight onto Kyrie or Dion rather than himself. Time will tell if it was a strategy to get buy-in from his teammates before he ascends to the throne of King James.
One thing has been astonishingly clear to me.
He was asked to explain how he looked at his leadership role. His answer spoke volumes. For this answer I would arrange a day, a parade, a key to the city…”I will be the leader of the team. I believe I bring leadership qualities that a lot of guys don’t want or don’t know how to do it. I can. I can lead by example, voice, command or I can lead by just my presence. That is the most important thing for me. That’s what I’m more excited about than anything is leading these guys every day in practice every single game, every single shoot around, every single film session.”
First it is a huge turnaround from the player who left four years ago. More importantly, it truly is a testament to leaders and leadership anywhere. Listen how he identified guys who don’t know how to lead or don’t want to lead. Many people think everyone wants to be a leader. So not true.
He talked about the nuances of leadership: that he could lead by a word or his presence. Leadership is often as much about what you don’t say as what you do say. Being cognizant of the verbal, the vocal, and the visual is key for any leader.
Then he went on to talk about leading in the film room as well as the shoot around. Leadership is 24/7. What a huge turnaround for LeBron to identify it as well as speak about it.
So while sports reporters talked about it being surreal to see LeBron back in a Cav’s uniform, what I find amazing is his daily take on leadership. As a leader do you own your voice as well as your gesture, a small meeting as well as a board meeting, have you correctly identified those beneath you or next to you that don’t want or don’t know how to lead?
Leadership is as much about following as it is leading. LeBron chose to follow his team onto the floor.
Do you know when to follow and when to lead?