Well the NBA Finals wrapped up with the unlikely San Antonio Spurs missing the opportunity to win their 5th title. I say unlikely because everyone including them Heat themselves had pretty much crowned the Miami Heat as the 2013 NBA Champions before the season even started. Well, the Heat were tested throughout the playoffs and passed every test, even the test of the well-coached Spurs.
Even though the Spurs lost and Duncan missed a point blank shot, he will go down as one of the greatest NBA Superstars ever. Not to mention a SuperStar who shined bright like a diamond while staying outside of the spotlight. Here are 10 Leadership Lessons From Tim Duncan’s Career. 1. Substance Over Style – Looking good is great, performing great is better. Duncan doesn’t win the style contest, but he is a straight up winner. 2. Greatness Is Appreciated More When It’s Gone – Tim Duncan’s Game, Career and Place in history won’t be appreciated until he’s retired and gone. 3. Great Leaders Know When To Defer – Duncan has admittedly turned the team over to Tony Parker, which has extended his career and allowed him to continue his greatness. 4. You Can’t Care What People Think – Duncan doesn’t get the commercials, the shoes, the endorsements… He just gets the trophies. Duncan could care less what people think about his personality or lack there of, all he does is win. 5. Classy over Sassy – Tim Duncan is one of the classiest players in the NBA. It’s hard not to like classy… when in doubt, keep it classy. 6. Quietly Be The Best At What You Do – Tim Duncan will quietly go down as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game. Period, the end. 7. Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last – Nice guys finish wherever they want to finish, Duncan is nice and he doesn’t finish last. 8. Get Better With Age – They say some things get better with age, great leaders get better, lead better, play better and make better decisions with age. Duncan seems to get better the older that he gets. 9. Know How To Lead Up – Duncan plays for a tough coach and he’s one of the few players that knows how to lead up, talk to Popovich, how to handle him in the media and how to lead up. There is an art to leading up and Duncan figured it out. 10. Make Those Around You Better – Duncan makes his teammates, his coach, his city, his community and the NBA better.
On any of life’s journeys, we have to make a choice before we begin the trip. Our options are these: we can be a passenger, or we can be the driver. It’s our choice.
People who choose to be passengers are subject to going where other drivers are going. Passengers have no control over the speed with which they move ahead, nor do they have any say about whether or not rules are observed.
Then again, being a passenger is appealing. Passengers merely sit in the car, relaxed and oblivious to their final destination. They may put on headphones and listen to music, or they may nap. They may talk in the cell phone or do crossword puzzles. However, they rarely pay attention to whether progress is being made. Their journey may be pleasant enough, but those choosing to be passengers are just going along for the ride.
Those who choose to be drivers accept responsibility for moving forward toward their goals. They pay attention and focus on getting to their final destination. They make decisions about how quickly they move ahead. They avoid obstacles, like bumps or dips in the road. They may choose to take a detour. They decide when to stop and refuel. During the journey they make the choices to control their safety and success.
The distance between a passenger and a driver in a car is less than three feet, but the difference is huge. The driver has the choice to head toward success. The passenger just goes where he is driven.
Greg Maddux is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win at least fifteen games for seventeen consecutive seasons. He recalls some advice he one received from then Cubs manager Tom Trebelhorn. "You know what they problem is with players these days?" Trebelhorn said. "They are always looking forward to something. They're never trying to something today. They're always looking forward to the next off-day, the All-Star break, the end of the season. They never stop and enjoy the day that's here."
Maddox says that he thought about that and saw that Trebelhorn had a point. In fact, Maddux realized that he had that same mind-set of looking only to the future and never enjoying the present moment. From that day forward, Maddox concluded, "I started enjoying each day...and really started loving the games from that day on."
Champions believe if you remove the adversity, you remove the victory. As a result, they tend to view adversity as a challenge through which learning and growing occurs. Their world view is evident in the way they describe the adversities they face. While average people choose the path of least resistance, world-class performers operate at a higher level of awareness. They understand that stress and struggle are the key factors in becoming mentally tough. While average people watch television and hang out at happy hour, the great ones continue to push themselves mentally and physically to the point of exhaustion. Only then will you see them in rest and recovery situations. Adversity to average people equals pain. Adversity to world-class performers is their mental training ground. It's how they become mentally tough. Average people scorn adversity. Those who are world class don't welcome adversity; yet they see it as the ultimate catalyst for mental growth, as well as the contrast needed to recognize the beauty of life.
This past weekend at our team camp, I give a Champion's Concept lecture to each team talking about various things that I think are important in our quest to the best that we can be. One of the things that we believe strongly in is that champions understand the importance of their associations. We speak to them about creating a circle of influence -- a group of people that you choose because they know they will hold you accountable and help you to grow and work towards your goals.
"Another way to increase your exposure to expanded associations is by teaming up with a peak performance partner, someone as equally committed to study and personal growth as you. This person should be someone you trust, someone bold enough to tell you what they really thing about you, your attitudes, and performance. It could be that this person is a longtime friend, but he or she may be someone who doesn't know you well at all. The point is to get (and give) an unbiased, honest, outside perspective."
Want to be more enthusiastic? Surround yourself with enthusiastic people. Want to be a hard worker? Surround yourself with those that work hard. Want to be a winner? Surround yourself with winners!
“The biggest thing in baseball is comfort. When guys are comfortable, that’s when you succeed, that’s when you play well. You get that confidence going, you stop worrying about stupid things: ‘Am I getting my leg up at the right time? Am I getting my hands separated at the right time?’ No. You’re worried about what you’re supposed to do: throw a fastball down and away — boom.”