I wish that we here at Champion had been able to talk to Lebron James before he announced his decision to leave Cleveland and go to the Miami Heat. I wish we had the opportunity to share ideas and strategies with him so that he wouldn’t have damaged his reputation; a tarnished reputation that will certainly follow him for the rest of his professional career.
Well, let this be a learning lesson for all of us that we can apply.
I checked a few sources and found that the average person will change jobs or employers between 7 and 10 times in their lifetime. Some will make complete career changes, some will do the same job, like play basketball, just for different employers. Many will be faced with the same decisions Lebron was faced with.
We all can relate to the position Lebron was in if the statistics that I’ve sighted above are true. We have a career. We are presented with or choose to go looking for a better deal. It happens.
Rarely are we bound to contracts like athletes. In fact, realistically speaking we are ALL in Free Agency at any time. It’s a free country and we switch jobs when we want for whatever reason. But, how we move from opportunity to opportunity through the course of our lifetime is what is important. Here are a few tips that we could have helped Lebron with, but since we weren’t consulted, hopefully they will spare you some of the grief Lebron brought upon himself. For future reference, consult us…we have been Champions for 47 years!!
#1—If you are unhappy, don’t quit on the rest of your team. When Lebron quit playing in game 5 of the playoffs, he might not have cared anymore…which seems strange coming from someone who wants to win a Championship so bad…but anyway…he took that opportunity away from the rest of his team too by not contributing. His selfish ways reminded me of a child who pouts when things aren’t going their way. Ultimately because he was unhappy, he hurt everyone around him and made their jobs all the harder! What an impression to leave with your co-workers…in the future, if you choose to take this type of action, don’t ask for a reference from any of your past teammates.
#2—If you are unhappy go to your superiors and discuss your dissatisfaction to see if things can be improved. I don’t think any of us are going to feel that Dan Gilbert wasn’t willing to do anything Lebron wanted. The facility in Independence, the charge of the GM to find talented team support for LBJ, seeking the best coaches, etc. But, in the course of these past 7 years, I wonder if they really ever collaborated to come up with a way for everyone to WIN? Why did they avoid talking about the inevitable date of July1, 2010 way before we ever got here?
#3—If you decide to leave a position give your employer the courtesy of at least a phone call before you tell everyone else…on National TV! OK, maybe none of us are at that level, but certainly don’t just NOT show up and let someone else break the news! I can’t believe one of Lebron’s Team called Mr. Gilbert…5 minutes before airtime…and not Lebron personally. I’ve always been told that you should NEVER BURN BRIDGES. In fact, leave with gratitude, say thank you, be gracious! At some point later on down the road, those are the people who may make you or break you as you try to progress.
#4—Realize your employer has given you the chance to gain training and experience. They gave you a shot first, believed in your talent before anyone else did and you grew because of the environment you were in. You may need to change, and those’s ok, but if you decide to switch teams, give your employer the opportunity to put in place what is best for the company before your departure. If Mr. Gilbert had known this was going to be Lebron’s decision do you think Mike Brown would still be here? Danny Ferry? Would we have made some trades earlier to prepare?
#5—Don’t hurt your customers with your departure. If you must go, the show will go on, but don’t leave them in the lurch! Make sure your business is taken care of, orders are filled and there are others in place to continue to meet their needs. Give the fans something to watch! Oh, above all, finish what you have started. If you promised a championship, then stay until it’s done. If you’ve taken an order or promised a service, then get ‘er done before you go. Maybe you made a young man’s foolish promise, but a promise is a promise, right?
If all of these simple rules would have been understood by Lebron’s Team, and someone had told him how this is going to effect his reputation going forward,do you think we would all be feeling the way we have?
I wonder if the other teams in the league are going to be so willing the next time Lebron is shopping for a home to wine him, dine him and pay big bucks to try and sway him. Cleveland isn’t the only city mad at him for how he treated them! Could you imagine missing out on a career down the road because of how you behaved in the past with a previous company? It can happen!
I wonder how Miami is going to feel if Lebron uses the same methodology for his departure in 5 years…remember, “If you did it with me, you’ll do it to me!” If you demonstrate to a new company that you have treated your former company poorly, know they will be watching you. It will speak volumes about your character. And for those who say it’s just business…you are right! BAD business!