5 Leadership Lessons From The NBA Draft

Three of the most uneventful hours in television have become the annual NBA Draft.  That’s sad because for years it was one of my favorite events of the year.  However, with so many players coming out early who are unknown and unprepared, the drama of the draft has all but diminished.

That being said, we can still take away several leadership principles that are transferable to any organization we are a part of.  Leaders, see how you are doing in these areas.

  1. Today’s Decisions Determine Tomorrow’s Success – Several player trades were made for cash or future considerations.  Much of this was done in hopes of teams freeing up resources so they can become major players in the upcoming free agent signing period. 
  2. Better Have A Plan B – Chicago, Cleveland, New York, New Jersey, Miami, and even the Los Angeles Clippers have positioned themselves for the opportunity to acquire the services of LeBron James.  5 of those teams will not succeed.  Understanding James will take a minimum of one additional superstar free agent with him, some teams will have some major holes to fill.  For more information, check out Options – 4 Practices That Can Change Your Life.
  3. Specific Skill Sets – Why do the San Antonio Spurs continue to add quality complimentary players to their team despite drafting in the 20s every year?  They draft players with specific skills.  James Anderson of Oklahoma State, selected with the 20th pick, was the finest shooter in the draft.  Similarly, I trust Celtics GM Danny Ainge for the same reason.  After drafting Rajon Rondo at 21, Glen “Big Baby” Davis at 35, and now Luke Harangody in the 2nd round, I trust Ainge’s judgement as well.
  4. Prepare or Repair  – The five best rookies in the NBA next year will be Blake Griffin, John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, and Gordon Hayward.  Four of those played multiple years in college.  The extra time spent provides increased fundamentals as well as physical and emotional maturity.  They have higher basketball IQs.  See Adding Leaders for more information.
  5. Leadership Alignment – The Portland Trail Blazers fired general manager Kevin Pritchard at the conclusion of the draft for what was described as “philosophical differences”.  Pritchard transitioned the team from the “Jail Blazers” to a talented young team that is a healthy Greg Oden away from providing a serious challenge to the Lakers.  Along with the dismissal of VP of Basketball Operations Tom Penn, an unnecessary parting of ways has taken place.  A growing organization suffered a major setback this week because of a dysfunctional leadership environment.

Proactive Decisions. Plan Bs. Complimentary Skills on Your Team. Preparation. Chemistry, Unity, and Alignment.  Leaders, how are you doing?

In conclusion and as a gift to you, check out ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb’s analysis of the winners and losers of this year’s draft.  See if you agree.

About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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