LeBron’s Economic Impact on Cleveland & 8 Lessons Leaders Should Learn

We are all witnesses. - lebron-james wallpaper

In these difficult economic times, it is understandable the angst that the community of Cleveland is currently feeling as a result of LeBron James’ decision to take his basketball talents to the Miami Heat.  This already economically depressed region is losing a lynchpin to any future financial vitality.  The following is the economic impact of LeBron’s departure as reported by ESPN today:

  • For the past seven season, the Cavaliers have ranked second in the NBA in attendance with an average of 20,500 attending each game.  Prior to James’ arrival, Cleveland ranked 29th in the NBA in attendance.
  • 20,500 people spent an average of $180 per game in tickets sales, parking, souvenirs, concessions, etc. generating $3.7M per game totalling $150M for the regular season.
  • An estimated additional 10 play-off games would have generated an additional $48M.
  • It is estimated LeBron was solely responsible for $100M or 21% of the Cavaliers’ net team value of $476M.
  • James would have paid $1.5M in state taxes.
  • Local hotels, parking areas, bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops will be devastated.  During an ESPN feature, a waitress stated “There will not be anymore $400 nights.”   A parking attendant stated they would have to lower the $25 parking fee and perhaps go part-time.  Finally, job security for local workers is now a major concern.

For organizations and churches that are personality driven or centered around the talents of a single individual, here are the lessons we should take from this past week:

  1. For long-term sustainability, you must build a team with broad-based talent and great depth.
  2. High capacity individuals always have options.
  3. For the good of the organization, have a transition strategy.  Even if they don’t exit like LeBron did, you must always prepare for the proverbial “hit by a bus” scenario.  
  4. Understand what motivates your top team members.  Know what they dream about, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry and lead appropriately.  LeBron wanted a championship and to win it in context of community.  He wanted to win a title with his friends.
  5. The top priorities for high-capacity individuals are significance, security, quality of family life, and legacy.
  6. If you don’t have a broad leadership base, just know the life cycle of your organization is limited.
  7. Top talent individuals have high Relational IQs.  These individuals can attract talent to your organization or have people accompany them to their new destination.  
  8. Eventually, high-capacity individuals must make decisions that are best for them and their families regardless of the impact on others.  The top priority is your family.  They are no different from anyone else in that regard.

If you don’t think these principles are accurate, remember that this week We Have All Been Witnesses.  Leaders, what are you doing to keep your best people?

To continue getting future leadership insights, please click here.

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.

6 Responses to “LeBron’s Economic Impact on Cleveland & 8 Lessons Leaders Should Learn”

  1. ShawnVandop Interesting article from @briankDodd – you should read it – http://bit.ly/9LCF4G

  2. DanetteNadine @BrianKDodd Brian analysis the Lebron move is on point. Blessings

  3. @CaseyGraham Casey, I’m blown away by your kind words. Also, all #pastors & #church #leaders need to have http://www.breancreater.com on your RSS feeds.

  4. CaseyGraham @briankdodd just released this masterpiece on the economic impact of LeBron leaving Cleavland. ://wp.me/pVReH-dD


  1. Morality Lessons from LeBron | The Sports & Entertainment Law Blog - 07/11/2011

    […] How did that turn out for his hometown?  Not well. […]

  2. Morality Lessons from LeBron | The ASU Sports & Entertainment Law Blog - 02/16/2011

    […] How did that turn out for his hometown?  Not well. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: