June 13, 2007

King (Lebron) James Leadership

Despite living outside my home state of Ohio for ten years, I kept track of Ohio sports news. I remember watching Lebron James, as a high school senior, play in one of the few ESPN aired high school games. He was a phenom.

I have been even more impressed with him as I watched his demeanor before reporters and how he has handled the fame. He exhibits a maturity beyond his years. He can score with flash, but he can also look to make his teammates better.

I found this article on Fast Company that discusses leadership Lebron style.

Here are the three main points:
1. Lead by example. Unlike many others in the NBA, Lebron knows how to share. He gives his teammates the ball, trusts them, and, in the process, makes them better. As a church planter/pastor our job is to make the people around us better. We can't do that if we try to do everything ourselves. (Lifechurch blog has a great article about sharing leadership.)

2. Do what it takes. While Lebron does share the ball, he also knows when to drive hard to the basket and when to take the shot himself. The tasks of a leader are not always easy. You have to be willing to confront people when necessary, fire people when necessary, and also get your hands dirty with the "menial" work when necessary. If you want to succeed and actually lead rather than manage, you have to be willing to do what it takes to get to where you are going. Things will not just happen on their own. You can't sit back and expect the core group to form on their own or the difficult board member to "just go away."

3. Live your values. Despite earning millions of dollars right out of high school, Lebron has had no scandals and no jail time. Despite a rough upbringing, he seems to have his head screwed on tight. He seems to know what he values, and then lives out those values in his every day life and his style of play. As leaders, we have to know what we value and then live out of those values. There are shortcuts to stardom and success, but there is no shortcut to good character.

What "philosophical" statements would you use to define your way of leadership?

You might also like these Looks at Leadership: Jim Tressel and Maj. Richard Winters


  1. I've been thinking about this alot lately, to the point where I was getting ready to write my own leadership mission statement to hold myself to, and anyone who works with me in ministry.

    1. Be transparent with your staff. Yep, there are things you are going to screw up. Be transparent about it, admit it, fix it... and MOVE ON.

    2. Have accountability. If that means friends you can trust to hold you to something, or a respected leader you can have keep tabs on you, make sure you are TRULY accountable. Don't just surround yourself with people who agree with you, that is fruitless and leads to pride issues.

    3. Remember just because you are the "big dog" on campus... you are really nothing. This ministry was entrusted to you by God, you did NOT create it yourself, and God can remove you if He needs to get you out of His way. All staff are equals.

    4. Have Character. Do what you say you will do. Don't gossip, and watch your mouth. Hard (trust me I know) when you sometimes see things you can't share. Or people make promises to you then lie to others about it. Just button it. God deals you just obey. If that means taking the blame for something you didn't do then by all means do it.

    5. Make sure you get in groups somewhere that nobody knows who you are or what you do. This is especially important if you are "known" in your area. Sometimes being the unknown shows you how important you really are in the grand scheme...ie... God can choose to do His work without you. He just doesn't.

    I guess in a way, i've restated what you already wrote but God has shown me specifics.

  2. Dude. You lost me at OHIO!

  3. Dude you are the one who is talking about hookin with some horns or something...that just sounds strange to me.

  4. Ronni,

    God always works in specifics, and helps us see how they apply to our lives.