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Sports and Business Leadership Lessons

1 Apr
Teamwork in Sports and in Business are key to success!

Teamwork in Sports and in Business are key to success!

“Great leaders are responsive and adaptable – they know that in order to succeed, they’ll have to ready their organizations for anything and everything.” ¬†-Dave Kerpen in 9 Timeless Leadership Lessons from Baseball

With 10+ years in professional sports, Dave Kerpen’s post really hit a home run with me! ¬†Leadership, perseverance, patience and team work are the keys to success in sports and in life. I learned that again and again over the years when I worked at the Orlando Magic and then later as I managed professional athletes in my first business.

People would often ask me how I knew if an athlete would make it to the next level and it was always hard for me to explain the “it” factor that determined it for me. One day I was watching one of my young clients, Darius sitting on the bench, waiting for his chance to play that night. It was one of his first NBA games and he was nervous. He knew he only had one chance to show his coach what he could do. He had prepared his entire life for this moment. As I watched, I could feel his tension and excitement. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

And, as he waited patiently on that bench cheering on his teammates, watching the scoreboard and the court, he was mentally preparing himself to jump in as soon as his coach gave the ok. Finally in the 3rd quarter, coach gave him a chance and he was ready, he played hard and he played smart. It may seem simple to you but look at the bench the next time you are at a game and see what those players are doing. Are they goofing around? Are they encouraging their teammates on the court or field? Are they watching the scoreboard? Do they know what is going on in the game? Are their laces tied? Their equipment ready? Or, are they sulking at the time they are missing on the court?

Darius was a young player (maybe even an underdog in the professional league) and in that one glimpse of him sitting on the bench I knew he would emerge a leader on the court and in life. Today, he is still someone who inspires me.

Are you the leader your team needs to win? Are you the leader your clients need you to be to reach their goals? What do you think makes a leader?

Thank you,


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