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

What Happens When Your Flowers Don’t Bloom? by David Guerra

What happens when your flowers don’t bloom?

Do you replace the flowers or do you find a new location for your garden?

In life there will be many things that will refuse to take root let alone bloom. When that time comes (and it will) what will you do? What can you do?

Most people will tell you to get rid of the old flowers and get yourself some new ones. That is all fine and dandy but what if they too fail to bloom? What then?

You most certainly cannot go changing flowers after every failed attempt at making them bloom.

Farmers have this thing called crop rotation. In crop rotation they change where they are going to plant their crops. See if they plant wheat or soy or corn or whatever on the same soil for too long the plants will suck the nutrients out of the soil and eventually nothing will grow there.

That being the case, it might be time to change the location of your garden and who knows your flowers might bloom.

The same applies to life. As human beings we love to get into a comfort zone. Especially, in a world where being a nomad means traveling here or there for a brief time then returning home. Oh no, not like our ancestor who moved because they went where the food went. They didn’t stick around once all the Woolly Mammoths were either killed off or migrated away. Early man, moved. They traveled to get the best chance at hunting for food and surviving.

Unfortunately for us, there are no more Woolly Mammoths (at least not yet) nor are there any sabre tooth tigers that are out there making a meal out of us. No, nowadays we travel to the local Mega-Mart to pick up a modern prepackaged version of Brontosaurus burgers (a la Fred Flintstone). Yes, we are firmly entrenched in our comfort zones, our homes with a nice solid foundation.

Now, there is no need to move around. There is no need to rotate our crops. There is no need to do anything but sit back and reap the benefits and rewards that modern society has worked long and hard to attain. We seem to have forgotten that change is VITAL to our existence. Change is what keeps us alive. Change is what makes us better people. Change is essential to making the flowers bloom.

No matter what you want to grow (relationships, business, education, whatever) it is time for change. It may be as simple as finding a new spot for your garden, changing the way you think about relationships or deciding what education you need to succeed. It is all about change and finding what works for you.

As a leader, you have to be flexible to change. Remember, leading people is NOT done with a cookie-cutter approach, all people are NOT the same. You are unique and you are different. Being different means being receptive and open to change and in most cases, initiating change.

Thank you,
David Guerra, MBA

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All Roads (In Life) Must Have Curves!

In a recent discussion with a long time friend, I was talking about changes in life and changes are part of of life. I also mentioned that bends in the road (literally and figuratively) are part of that change. When it comes to change in life, the curves are always there. Of course, you can accept those curves or you can stick your head in the sand thus leaving your backside sticking up in the air for the whole world to (well you know where I am going with this). No matter whether your head is in the sand or you are facing the curves head on you nor I can change the fact that the curves are coming whether we like them or not.

There are just so many things in life we cannot change. The twists and turns in life are a guarantee. There are just too many outside factors and influences to make the twist and turns, the curves in the road unavoidable. So don’t fight it. Realize the fact that curves in the road are essential to moving forward. It is critical to growing. When you are moving forward and growing you are winning.

No matter where you go, how careful you are or what you try to do to avoid them, there will always be curves in the road (of life).

Unfortunately, too many people instead of accepting the curves would rather stick their head in the sand and hope the upcoming curves leave their exposed backsides in one piece. Sticking your head in the sand is certainly something that real leaders cannot afford to do. They cannot afford to look weak or appear afraid. A leader that shows fear and acts with fear is not a leader. Sure, it is acceptable to have fear and to be afraid. Fear and being afraid is a healthy part of being a human being. When people look to you to guide them through those curves that is when fear should take a back seat and not be the dominant force that drives or dictates your actions. As a leader, you must control your fear and move forward. Moving forward and moving past the curves is what happens when you gain and maintain control of your fears.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you should be fearless when it comes to facing the curves in life. What I am saying is to know and understand that all curves are there to slow us down when life moves too fast or to help make certain we are on the right path. I see the curves as one of those few warnings that are part of life. Unfortunately, too many don’t see them that way and end up going off track or completely spin out of control. No matter what they do, they cannot change the fact that there will be more curves ahead.

Just like change, there will be some curves we like and there will be some we don’t like, but both are a good thing. It means that we faced a challenge and we either reap the reward or we have to try harder to get to that place where we reach the rewards we are looking for. The curves are the “hard knocks” we have to endure to get there. Whether we like them or not, there is no one size fits all approach to dealing with the curves as they happen. Sure they are a hassle but they are worth it? Of course, the curves are worth it. See anything going through is worth going through so long as you do the best that you can to deal with those issues, as they happen. Sure you can try to prepare for the upcoming curves, just like a road sign warning us before it is too late.

Posted or not, the warning signs are there because there will always be curves in the road (of life). Now you can choose to accept them or you can stick your head in the sand. Personally, accepting the fact there will always be curves ahead makes dealing with those curves a little easier.  Dealing with them head on and not side stepping them or avoiding altogether will get you to where you want to go. Besides the reality is that the path from Point A to Point B is seldom a straight line but one loaded with twists, turns, curves, exit ramps and sometimes, a few dead ends. Then again, a journey navigated on a straight line is rarely any fun and where’s the fun in that. Just keep you eyes on the road and you will get there.

 

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