LeBron James, the NBA‘s Most Valuable Player of 2012 is not just an example for all athletes out there, but also for businessmen. The 27-year old NBA star tallied 26 points for the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on his way to also become the Finals MVP of the series.
However, his points aren’t the only reason why his team won the championship – his 11 rebounds, 13 assists, and the exceptional way he played the game that sealed the deal. Now, what insight can you, as businessmen, learn from LeBron’s sublime performance?
A rebound, in basketball definition, is a way of gaining control of the ball after a missed shot. 11 rebounds mean 11 chances of getting the ball into the basket – that is 22 points if he or his teammates got it all in.
As small business owners, you can look at this from the perspective of business against competition and you against yourself.
In business, you should be aware and be able to identify when a competitor misses a shot. This is an opportunity for you to gain advantage. Make sure to know what mistake they committed and go take flight and grab the ball. Ask yourself, what made their postcard campaign ineffective? Why didn’t they reach as much target audience using posters? What should have they done to better tap into their target market?
Remember that other competitors will try to grab the ball too so when you get your hands on it, hold it tightly. In basketball, sometimes you try to shoot the ball and misses. If you are already in there, making a rebound after your failed shot is a must. Same thing with business, learn from your mistake and act on it!
LeBron didn’t make it to stardom by hogging the ball for himself; he helped his teammates score by passing the ball at the right time resulting to a basket. That was equivalent to at least 26 points for his team made possible by letting go of the ball at the right moment and passing it to the right person.
Now how does this translate to business? Knowing the right timing and the perfect situation to delegate a responsibility, recognize a good idea, or know just exactly who the right person for a specific job in your business requires skills as well – not to mention perceptiveness.
Exceptional Game Play
Prior to this year’s Finals, LeBron has a history of not being able to deliver when it counts, starting with the poor effort he showed in Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. His lackadaisical performance in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Maverick only fueled fire to the argument – despite his physical gifts and high basketball IQ, LeBron does not have the killer instinct that Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Larry Bird possessed during their prime. He was quick to defer to co-captain Dwyane Wade and was content with letting the game come to him instead of clawing his way in to the game.
In this year’s Finals against the Thunder, however, LeBron played like he never played before. With Wade and Chris Bosh hurting, LeBron took it upon himself to carry the team and make sure that every game was within their reach.
A poignant moment happened that is testament to LeBron’s transformation from a talented player to a fiery competitor when he experienced leg cramps in the closing minutes of Game 4. Instead of succumbing to the pain, LeBron continued to play and hit a 3-point shot that was pivotal in their win. Although he was eventually taken out to avoid further damage on his body, his willingness to play through adversity and take charge of the situation is something that LeBron learned from the mistakes he committed in last year’s Finals.
Just like LeBron, aiming to get leverage in the market and seizing every opportunity that arises is definitely an attitude businessmen should develop. Most businesses fail not because of poor marketing, but because of complacency. There is nothing wrong with being satisfied about where you are in the market; what’s wrong is being satisfied too much that you ignored possible threats to your business and opportunities to move forward, innovate, or be creative.
Being the business MVP won’t be easy. It will take a lot of practice and experience. If at first you think you’re not doing well, don’t give up. Just like LeBron James, it might not be your time to shine just yet.
- Be prepared when one of your competitors “drop the ball” and take advantage of it. Likewise, make sure to keep the ball in your court and take the best shot possible.
- Delegate your tasks properly and maximize your resources to the fullest.
- Learn from your mistakes and make the most out of the opportunities given to you. Plan in advance and make the right decisions.