Now that the Golden State Warriors Won, Let’s Talk about Teams by David Guerra

“Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for winning the 2017 NBA Championship. Congratulations for creating the beginning of the end of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

 

That is most certainly one of the headlines you will be reading in the coming days. Delivering congratulations to a team then singling out one player and his team. One loss of a series of games and everyone is ready to throw in the towel for this individual, stellar NBA player. They are also ready to throw in the towel for his team. His entire team.

What does this all mean? It means that all over, LeBron James is recognized as the one individual that is the heart, soul and glue of the Cleveland Cavaliers. How can that be? How can it be that outsiders see this as the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of “The Cleveland Cavaliers”?

It is so easy for people to drive a wedge between a player and his team. The media is no help, they have all but exalted the most honorable and most high “King James” as they like to call him. Yet, what about the team? Do they call the Cavaliers something like “King James and his court”? You had better believe they do. They do so much that when the team does not do well you can almost hear the teaser commercials call it “King James and his court jesters”.

Seriously, not even James believes that nonsense or does he? While he has been quoted as saying, “There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.” However, when has he been heard saying or asking not to be called “King James”?

James is a very good player. He does what he can to distinguish himself on the basketball playing court. There is no argument there. However, what about the team. It takes a great team to end the NBA Playoffs year after year. It takes a greater team to enter the NBA finals but the greatest team for the season is the one that wins the NBA Championship.

That last paragraph NEVER mentions an individual. It mentions teams. To be great players of the game and the sport you have to be bigger that the game. This means having to be more than the sum of all your teammates. That is why the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls will always remain great teams (no matter the Win-Loss record). It takes a team to make great teams. When one individual is elevated to a position above his own team, then is the team truly great?

To be great team and great team members, the individuals must believe in the team and the team must believe in ALL the individuals to make the team great. From game one to game 82, the team must work together as one cohesive unit with each member of that team doing his part. Eighty-two games later, if they worked and worked with one mission and vision, they enter the play offs. They advance as a team. They move forward building their legacy by being a team. One day, history will look back on that team and its legacy and with a little luck it will call that team GREAT. Then and only then will history decide which individual or individuals were great. Until then, this is still a game played by a TEAM and as a TEAM!

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Why Baking A Cake Is Leadership in its Purest, Most Delicious Form by David Guerra

Have you ever baked a cake? Most people have at one point or another in their lives have baked a cake. I have baked cakes for as long as I can remember. While cake baking/making is not my vocation (and for good reason) I have baked cakes for many reasons and while all have been tasty, none of them have caused me to quit my day job. All that cake baking has failed to land me a private jet. However, it has done so much for my leadership skills. There are at least three leadership skills that are put into play every time anyone bakes a cake: planning, patience, and doing what you say.

Planning

I would be hard pressed to say that people are ever ready to bake a cake, even bakers. They have to plan for the cake they want to make. They have to know things like flavor, type, number of slices, frosting, frosting type, and any extras. No one just happens to have the flour they need. They plan and prepare for it. Any experience baker will know that you just have a “magical” supply of flour. You have to have an inventory of flour and all the other ingredients to make the cakes you make. Every leader, worth his or her weight in Almond Flour knows before beginning any new project or mission planning must take place. Planning to prepare for the people, resources, and time needed is key to becoming a successful leader.

Patience

Every baker, knows if they do not wait the minimum time to bake a cake the cake will not be done. No one likes a mushy cake, especially when you take it out the oven too soon. On the other side of the coin, no one truly likes a dry  cake. By dry I mean, the Sahara Desert has nothing on how dry the cake is because it sat in the oven for too long. Whether it is baking a cake or leading a group of individuals you have got to have patience to know when to start and the patience to know when to stop.

Doing What You Say

Those that eat the cake know first hand if that baker is worth the investment or not. The baker knows he/she is only as good as the cake that is eaten. If people are not eating the cake then he isn’t putting his money where is mouth is (literally). If the baker is not delivering a quality product then it should come as no surprise that he is not doing what he says he can do which in this case, bake a delicious cake.  Doing and delivering on what you say is essential as a leader, as intent (intending to do something) is not what is going to make you a great leader. Doing things makes you a great leader.

When it comes to being a leader there are so many things that go into becoming the individual that others will follow. However, when it comes to planning, patience, and doing what you say are the top three elements that all future and current leaders must master. To master the top three and just like the cake maker, you have to practice. Practice every day, all day giving no quarter to slacking off. Those that follow you expect nothing less.
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The Hustle. The Grind. And Words of Motivation by David Guerra

Hustle. Grind. Those two words have recently got so much play. So much play in that they are now common place.
 
It seems that Hustling and Grinding has become the norm. Everyone is saying it and everyone believes it. They not only believe it but they are living it, as well.
 
So what’s the problem?
 
The only problem I see is sooner rather than later, as is in most cases, words like Hustle and Grind will lose their punch. They will fade into the background and join the words and phrases like; “go for it”, “kick it up a notch”, “awesome” and so on.
 
Once they fade away, what will replace them? What will be the new “Hustle” and “Grind”? Does it matter?
 
Does it matter?
 
Of course, it matters. I need motivation, you need motivation, we all need motivation. So long as people need motivation, there will be words to motivate them. There will be people to say those words to motivate others (and themselves).
 
As leaders, we have to do and say what it takes to motivate those we are responsible for and lead. Those that follow need to feel inspired, especially from those that voluntarily follow. When those words of motivation start to become commonplace, leaders must remain vigilant to not become someone spouting words that have become tired and old. Any leader that values his followers will ensure that what he or she has to say is fresh and most of all; relevant.
 
After all, that’s all that followers want.
 
A leader that is not only motivated but relevant 100% of the time and that’s non-negotiable.

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Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra