6 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from LeBron James
If you’ve ever watched ESPN, you might have heard of a guy named LeBron James. He’s pretty good. Also, known as “King James” or the “Chosen One”, Lebron Raymone James is trying to cement his legacy as one of the greatest players that has ever played in the NBA. He wants to be better than Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell and even Michael Jordan. While LeBron James is certainly on his way to becoming a great player, he is even displaying a high business acumen with numerous endorsement deals and ownership stakes in sports teams. Sports and business are very close. Successful athletes must adhere to the same discipline, focus and determination that successful business men and women do, so it is only seems right to look at the best player in the NBA and learn some lessons. With LeBron James leading the Miami Heat to the 3rd NBA Finals in the last years (his 4th as a player) let’s explore 6 things that entrepreneurs and business owners can learn from the best player on the planet.
- Rise to the Occasion – When the lights shine the most, that’s when stars and legends are made. Coming into last night’s Game 7, James averaged 34. points on 45.9% shooting, 8. rebounds and . assists. According to the Bleacher Report, this is better than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. In last night’s game, James finished with 32 points, 8 rebounds and assists and most importantly he led his team to victory. Lesson: If you are pitching to VC’s or your have a big prospective client you are going to speak to, demand and show excellence as if it was a Game 7.
- Pivot – A few years ago following The Decision, James was one of the most hated players in sports. Following that year his team lost in the finals, he admitted that he changed his mentality trying to be the “bad guy” and didn’t have as much fun playing basketball. He and Dwayne Wade struggled to figure out who was “Batman” and who was “Robin” and they found themselves watching the Dallas Mavericks win the championship. The following year James pivoted and instead of being the bad guy, he started to enjoy the game more. What followed next was another MVP trophy, but most importantly a Finals trophy. Lesson: When things don’t seem to be working in business, entrepreneurs and business owners must remember that sometimes you have to pivot from your original plan. Do what will lead to your success.
- Don’t be Afraid to Call out Teammates – During the games against the Pacers you could see James yelling and trying to spark his teammates during timeouts. The MVP even told the press following a game that he reverted back to his Cleveland days as if to call out Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to show up. Lesson: When you’re chasing greatness and want to be the best, sometimes you can’t be nice. You have to demand the same excellence from your team that you require of yourself. If you don’t see team members giving it their all, sometimes you have to call them out.
- Be Yourself & Have Fun – Going back to lesson # remember to have fun. When James went back to having fun, he took his game to another level. Lesson: Maybe you want to do the Harlem Shake with your team to fellowship, but remember to enjoy the process of building your company. It will increase employee morale and maybe they will work harder for you. Work hard and play hard.
- Be So Good You Don’t Have Flaws – Michael Jordan was famous for using each summer to add a particular skill to his game. James and many of the other great players have taken this mentality. For James, he has improved his jump shot and even added a post game in the last couple of years. While he might have some flaws too his game, he is so good it is hard to see those flaws. Lesson: As a business owner just beginning to start a company, you might have a lot of flaws. The key is to identify those strengths, double down on them and do them so well that competitors and clients don’t believe you have flaws. If you don’t have the revenue to advertise, leverage social media and beat your competition at whatever opportunity they present.
- Make others better – Coming into the NBA, King James was supposed to be the perfect blend of player–a mix between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. He had the scoring ability of Michael Jordan, but the unselfishness of a Magic Johnson looking to pass to make his teammates better. Lesson: In business, it is the exact same because as a leader you will be measured more by the success of your team then your personal success. If you try to do everything, you will only go so far. With a strong and empowered team, you can take over the world.