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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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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On DISRUPTION by David Guerra

Blog entry Dave Guerra on Disruption

 

Recently, I had a run in with DISRUPTION.

I know that’s nothing new. We all have to run into disruption (at least once or twice a day), it is part of who we are. Disruption is part of life. Without disruption how could we ever differentiate between what is urgent, what is important, what is not urgent and what is not important. We need disruption to give us perspective when we need and when we don’t.

Defining Disruption

I see Disruption as to go away from the norm. To move away from what is the everyday, the understood, the expected, basically move away in any and all angles of approach & departure. Does that make sense? If not, please let me clarify. Think of disruption as a succession of four way stops and no matter which turn you take (if any) it will take you to your final destination.

Positive Disruption

Yes, disruption always has a certain degree of positivity. Of course, the amount of positive disruption varies as each situation is unique. What I mean is when disruption occurs you are not define by the action of the disruption but by what you do after. How you approach and handle the disruption will determine the amount of positivity the disruption gives you.

Isn’t Disruption supposed to be something we dread or fear?
Yes and no. Yes, in that once you get into your groove and things are moving along at a constant suitable space why would it be good to disturb or disrupt? It is not. It means that it is now time to slow down and then gradually get back up to speed. Disruption should not be dreaded or feared in that it should be expected. When you expect something to happen you have a mindset of anticipation. Anticipation in that you know how you will react to the disruption and that’s a good thing. There will be times that others will, in response to disruption, get cold feet for fear of doing the wrong thing will react negatively or not at all and that’s not a good thing.

Disruption is necessary?

Most certainly, disruption is necessary. It is necessary when it creates a challenge and that creates or leads to change. Change, whether good or bad is still change and change is part of growth. Whether the outcome is not what is desired, it does give you the opportunity to turn things around move away from what you have known or just learned (the bad outcome) and into the unknown based on you have already left the bad behind. You could almost call disruption a checkpoint on the road to success.

Is disruption not a good strategy?

Any strategy or tactic should include anticipated and expected disruption. The need to deal with disruption as part of the plan is critical to the success of the plan. Did you know, in training Infantrymen, the US Army teaches how to deal with and fight through an ambush. Trust me, when I tell you an ambush (deliberate or hasty) is a disruption no Infantryman wants but does expect because they have been trained, since basic training on how to deal with it. It is when you ignore the fact that disruption (at any level or intensity) will occur that you have given up. That’s right you have given up long before you can implement any strategy or tactic.

How can disruption change the routine or status quo thinking/mindset?

It all depends on what the benefit or perceived benefit is for the individual(s) affected by the disruption. Disruption is a good thing so long as there is something positive for those affected by the disruption people will conform or at least, adapt. For example, there was a needed I needed extra help in a projected and asked for volunteers. As anyone who has ever worked for other people knows never to volunteer for anything. That’s OK, it was the first rule I learned when I joined the Army. So I understood that no one was going to outright volunteer for anything. I asked one more time and the new guy (in the organization) stepped up and volunteered. I told him to go home, he got a paid day off. Everyone else was “volunteered”. Needless to say, the next time I asked for a volunteer, everyone raised their hand.

I first learned about this tactic to getting people to volunteer especially when no one wants to volunteer when I was in the Army. Though I was not the one who was given the day off, I did promise myself that if I am ever in a situation where getting people to volunteer is difficult, I would try the tactic I mentioned. I remembered this disruptive idea from so many years ago for the same reason people remember things that appeal to them because it creates change in the way they do business or live or learn for better or worse.

What about the naysayers?

Getting naysayers to buy into your disruptive idea(s) is always going to be an up hill climb or swimming up the creek without a paddler or (insert cheese cliche about struggle here). But, the best way to win over the naysayers is to show them and not just tell them how the idea(s), the disruptive idea or concept, will be good for them. Do not gloss over the idea but be specific. Do what you need to do to connect at a personal level and you got it

Remember, to be disruptive, one must be willing to dare to be Disruptive! You have no choice, if you want to succeed when disruption comes to town, either through your hand or at the hands of others you must disruptive. Yet, be positively disruptive. To be positively disruptive you must POSITIVELY BE DISRUPTIVE!

 

Thank you
David Guerra

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