Friday, July 11, 2014

Chasing Paper

"Don't Chase The Paper, Chase The Dream" ~ Sean Combs 

LeBron James, the world's most recognized sports star is leaving the glitz and glamour of Miami to return home to Cleveland. It is a tale of humility that has given many a renewed faith in humanity. James left his home team to form an all star team in the sunshine state a few years back, they won 2 championships. Today many are applauding the superstars decision to get back to his roots while other are questioning his motives.

I believe LeBron James had three reasons for his career transition:

More Time To Make Things Right...
Most anyone will tell you that they regret making decisions that were motivated by money. Being broke sucks! Having a little extra dough levitates stress. But, what price do we pay for money? Do unrealistic expectations come with a larger paycheck? Is purpose lost in the pursuit of success at any cost? In accepting more money do we give away our ability to oppose organizational expectations? Google is the greatest place to work in the world and their managers remind their employees of that every day.

Many of us look back with anguish on the times we stepped on others to get ahead, took short cuts, or lost our direction. I know I do... and I bet LeBron James has as well.

Making a ton of money is awesome, making amends is priceless.
He's The Boss
Basketball Legend Pat Riley is known for his hard-edged motivational tactics. His coaching of the Lakers in the 80's will forever be enshrined in basketball lore. But its not the 80's anymore. When I heard Pat Riley give a fist pounding rant at the expense of his players, I knew his reign of greatness was over. It may be said that after a long year of trying his ass off only to fall short of an NBA title, LeBron James did not want to hear an out-of-touch Executive call him a coward.

Today's workforce will not be managed by fear and intimidation. Employees (especially Super Star employees) will take six months off, work for less money, or start their own company if their work conditions are adversarial. Managers who still think they can push their employees around with the option to find a replacement (who respects authority) are high. The "my way or the highway" ethos is done. It may still be working for you right now, but the sand is hitting the bottom of the hour glass.

Winning (the right way) Is Everything! 
Any of us could make backroom negotiations to build a winning team. Offer certain people more money, steal top performers from competitors, or slick talk people into empty promises. Personally, I'd rather coach my son and his friends from the block to a championship than to offer the dad's of superstars perks to join our team.

Anyone can buy a championship. Earning one is something completely different.

Leaders are people who recognize potential and help individual contributors seize their greatness.

We all come to a point in our lives when we can no longer fool ourselves. We would rather walk hand in hand with our children than to board a plane in an uncomfortable suit. Time is far more precious than money. We can always pay back a loan but we do not get the hours back.

I would venture to guess that the greatest basketball player of our time got tired of the madness. Like the rest of us, he faced the reality of dying with more dollars than people around him, and saw no wealth in that manufactured future. Destiny is created by those who choose to take control of their lives and to live on their own terms. Because they know they are far more capable than others and are willing to do something about it.

The heart is stronger than the head. Always leave the door open on your way out.

Don't Forget To Remember!


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