Lothery & Associates

There’s No “I” in Leader

While the San Antonio Spurs and their fans lick their wounds today, over the devastating unnecessary loss last night to the Miami Heat, let’s turn our attention to LeBron James and his language in the post-game interview. Every athlete and sports fan has heard the phrase, “there’s no I in team.” Well there’s also no I in leader. To be a leader, you share credit, share pain, and look for ways to pump up the people around you.

If you think back to the Game 5 loss where he pouted, gave gruff answers and let Dwayne Wade handle most of the questions, that’s hardly how a leader steps up to show his or her resilience in coming back after a crisis or defeat. If you watch LeBron’s interview last night, after a very difficult win, almost all of his answers were focused on himself. He has on many occasions spoken about himself in the third person during interviews, so maybe spending so much time on himself he thought he was giving credit to a teammate.

OK, that was a little sarcastic, but here are things to remember for any self-proclaimed, or appointed leader:

  • Even if asked a directed question to answer about your own performance, if your answers apply to members of your team, mention their contribution as well.
  • Share credit as often as possible.
  • Give accolades to members of your team that performed well, even if you aren’t asked about them.
  • Use words like we, us, and all. Avoid too many me, I, and Your Name (i.e. speaking about yourself in the third person)
  • When team or individual performance is poor, don’t single anyone out, simply note what the team needs to do to get better.

Chris Bosh produced a number of key blocks and assists to contribute to the final win, including the final pass to Ray Allen in the corner that afforded them the winning basket in overtime. Ray Allen came through with less than two seconds on the clock to sink the game winning three. All players on the court gave James key feeds for him to score big and keep the team in the game. Reporters, board members, supervisors or other stakeholders may not ask about others, but you were working with them and know who did what. Share the “shine” that comes with your spotlight, and your team will appreciate you as a leader, and look forward to diving into the trenches with you the next time you’re called into battle.

Until Game 7…may all of your leadership communications be good ones!

 

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