6 Ways LeBron James is Great at Team Building

I had to write an article about great team building and LeBron James – basically because @Kris_Dunn (The HR Capitalist and Chief FOT’er) hates how LeBron took his talents to South Beach – and now he’s on the verge of winning his first NBA Championship.  Fast Company’s latest edition has an article titled: What LeBron James And The Miami Heat Teach Us About Teamwork that takes 5 shots at why LeBron and his Miami Heat team did a great job a building a championship contender. The 5 Team Building principles from the Fast Company article:

1.Start With Sacrifice.   LeBron and Bosh both left millions of dollars on the table to go to Miami to play with Dwayne Wade. Dwayne Wade gave up being the highest paid player on “his” team.  All 3 wanted to win championships and were willing to make some sacrifices to make it happen.

2. The Rule of Many. It takes more than just 3 stars to make an NBA team – or at least an NBA winning team.  With the big 3 together, many other veterans were willing to take less money to join the team, giving the Miami Heat the most experienced roster in the NBA in total NBA years of playing experience.  All 3 stars had connections they used to get these players to join, most notably using prior relationships to get these veterans to join their quest.

3. Adversity is an Asset. “Nothing brings a team together than a common adversary.” The Miami Heat’s adversary? Well everyone not associated with the Miami Heat! When Miami started this season they were suppose to walk through everyone, yet, they struggled and people loved that they struggled. This adversity worked to pull a team together and work even harder to reach their potential.

4. When the Going gets Tough, Turn to one Another.  Say what you want about the Big 3 in Miami, then one thing you’ll be hard press to say is that they don’t support each other.  When the whole world was asking “who’s team is this?” they said “ours”; when the whole world asked “who’s going to take the last shot in tight game?” They said, “whoever is open”.  Great teams understand the value to chemistry and believing in each other.

5. Manage From Inside-Out. The easiest thing the Miami Heat could have done this year, when they were struggling early, would have been to fire their coach and replace him with Miami Heat President and Hall of Fame coach, Pat Riley.  But, they didn’t. Instead Riley mentored and worked with Heat coach, Eric Spolestra, helping him understand how you lead a roster filled with superstars.

6. Beware of the Blame Game. Team chemistry is everything. History of littered with the most talented teams that didn’t reach their potential, and with teams that lacked talent, but won championships, all because of Chemistry.  Don’t underestimate this when putting a team together in your organization – great chemistry with average talent, will almost always beat great talent that lacks chemistry.

There are a ton of Miami/LeBron haters out there – but when you look at what that group of players and the organization has done to build a team – it seems like they are on the right track to be a championship level team.

One thought on “6 Ways LeBron James is Great at Team Building

  1. He has been villified by everyone but he is actually someone who didn’t take the max contract money and stay with a losing franchise. He is someone who actually meant it when he said, it isn’t about the money, I want to win a championship. I am surprised more players haven’t done this in their prime. Many do it later in their career. I think what Lebron recognizes is if you join a good team and win, the financial side will come (not that he is struggling to make the mortgage payment now anyway). I kind of admire that he put winning a championship above his ego, same with Wade and Bosh.

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