“The main ingredient to stardom is the rest of the team.” (Coach John Wooden)
“A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way” (John C. Maxwell)
Have you seen the Chicago Bulls recently? LOL
By the way, I have used that abbreviation maybe five times in my entire life because I truly have to laugh out loud in order to use that in a text message. When it comes to the Bulls, I am LOL’ing and SMH’ing. They are truly dysfunctional right now.
However, the LOL that I am referring to is a “Lack of Leadership”.
This past week, the top two scorers on the team and the leader in assists were mired in leadership controversy. They pointed fingers at everyone but themselves and in the process proved that they are not being the positive leaders that the team needs.
Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade were recently fined by the team for making comments. Some of the comments included the following . . .
“I’m 35 years old, man”, said Wade. “I’ve got three championships. It shouldn’t hurt me more than it hurts these young guys. They have to want it. … It has to change. It has to hurt inside to lose games like this.”
Butler echoed his remarks, saying: “(Expletive teammates) just got to care if we win or lose. At the end of the day, do whatever it takes to help the team win. You play your role to the T. Be a star in your role, man.”
I can’t speak to whether they were right in their assessment about their teammates but I do know that leadership begins with you. Are they doing all that they can do? They are the two stars of the team. As Gandhi said, “be the change that you want to see in the world.” Are they showing the way to the other Bulls and helping them maximize their potential or are they just relying on their status and past successes as the reason people should follow them?
It also looks like they might have taken a page out of Lebron James’ playbook with his public criticism.
Evidently, there is some animosity toward Butler and Wade because the veteran Rajon Rondo, the team’s leader in assists took to Instagram to voice his opinion of the team’s two stars and compared the to his former World Championship teammates during his Boston Celtic days . . .
“My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”
Wow, shots fired!
Rondo probably has a point but this should not be aired publicly. This should happen behind closed doors. More importantly, Rondo has completely missed the point of what he is saying.
He is a veteran on this team and is not doing what he says veterans should be doing. “My vets would never go to the media” – I guess he doesn’t consider Instagram as a media outlet. I guess when he says “I am not a bad teammate”, he is overlooking the fact that he is criticizing other teammates publicly – no matter how justified. If his goal is “to pass what I learned along” then what exactly is he passing along? That it is okay to act this way?
I am going to guess that none of the Bulls have read Tobias Fredberg’s article in The Harvard Business Review entitled “Why Good Leaders Pass the Cred and Take the Blame” . . .
“They [leaders] see the willingness to accept personal responsibility — especially during tough times — as critical to winning the trust of employees and other stakeholders. Leaders, in their view, need the endurance and stamina to lead their organizations through thick and thin. They also need to contain the anxiety of their employees. A leader who spreads the blame, who fails to accept that he or she is ultimately the one in charge, increases the insecurity of their people and lessens the likelihood that they’ll take ownership of initiatives.”
So what is the takeaway from this incident?
Good leaders help make others better. They don’t point out flaws in public.
Good leaders are not hypocrites. You can’t take a stand saying that someone else is being a bad leader while demonstrating that very same behavior.
Good leaders earn respect daily. The best way to earn respect is to be trusted. The best way to be trusted is to build a connection with others. This does not happen if you are tearing them down publicly.
Good leaders are not concerned about their egos or getting their own way or their stats or how they look in the media. Good leaders care about their teammates.
Good leaders recognize that it is a team effort.
Jimmy Butler said the players need to be stars in their roles. Butler, Wade and Rondo need to heed this advice. Their roles extend far beyond scoring or passing. As leaders, their role is to know the way, show the way and go the way. They might be filling up the stat sheet but if they are not respected and they are not making the team better then the Bulls will still continue to lose.