A Last Word About LeBron

Miami welcomes LeBron James to the Heat, and begins a new chapter in their South Beach history. Cleveland closes the last chapter on its seven-year flirtation with Camelot. Everyone from President Obama to the LeBron James Grandmother’s Club has weighed in on “The Decision” and its hurricane like aftermath. Tattoo Removal in Cleveland

Basketball aficionados, former NBA legends such as Air Jordan and Sir Charles, fans, and usually disinterested civilians have all registered their opinions. Outside of the basketball world, we can all learn from The Summer of LeBron. The lessons go beyond the rectangular hardwood court. The lessons apply to our home court professional and personal advantage.

1. Protect Your Brand

2. Chosen One-Third

3. We Are All Witnesses

4. From King to Three Kings

5. Burned Bridges

1. Protect Your Brand

Protecting your Brand is like losing weight. The first challenge is to lose weight. The second challenge is to keep it off, which takes a 24/7 Herculean effort. They are two separate challenges often masquerading as one. With a Brand, the first challenge is to build the Brand. The second challenge is to protect the Brand. They are two separate challenges often masquerading as one. Protecting Your Brand takes a 24/7 Herculean effort. A Brand is a living organism.

For a professional athlete, their Brand is not just about how they play the game. When Kobe got in legal trouble, it was off-court antics that threatened his Brand. How a mega star athlete dresses either enhances or hurts their Brand. To Protect Your Brand, attend powerful meetings with powerful people in powerful dress. T-shirt, sweatpants and backpack do not protect Your Brand.

2. Chosen One-Third

Movies, novels, and TV shows often worship the role of the leader. Whether the leader is the president, coach, CEO, or captain the leader gets the credit and gets the criticism. It takes a whole team to win or lose, but we blame the quarterback for the throw or the coach for the play. In business, we need to correctly identify leaders from followers. The business world needs both, but we need them to be in their rightful position.

LeBron has a tattoo that says, The Chosen One. When he chose to come to Miami, he chose to be one of three. So now he is the Chosen One-Third. He prefers to play with two equals rather than stand above the team. Leaders need followers and followers need leaders. Companies, fans, and voters just need to make sure they identify correctly.

3. We Are All Witness

“Witness” was a ten story, 212 foot wide Nike Billboard that stood as a testimonial to those who were “witness” to the skills of LBJ. Within days of “The Decision” Nike had removed the sign, the final step in a process to remove LeBron James from the identity of Cleveland.

Aren’t we all “witness” to something? “Witness” to a success, an innovation, an effective presentation, a kind gesture, a fun evening. Perhaps we need to take better stock of what we “witness” everyday by the men and women who figuratively take the ball when there are two minutes left to play.

4. From King to Three Kings

Since LeBron was in high school he has been King James. Now Miami has Three Kings. Most kings don’t give up their throne willingly. Leadership is lonely and being the “man” perhaps had lost its luster. There is a pressure to be the guy whom much is always expected.

There is an allure to be “one of” instead of the “one”. Let another guy feel the pressure. When you are no longer the man who gets the ball, you are no longer the man. You can’t be both leader and one of the guys. You are either alpha dog or one of the pack. Every sled dog on the tundra is important to the success of the expedition. But not every pack dog is a leader.