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Friday, October 12, 2012

Kevin Eastman- Leadership

"It's What's Best for the Team"
Rajon Rondo on Team Decisions

"My job is to play, whether Doc throws an 8th grader out there...I'll try to make his job easier and bring the best out in him." That's Rajon Rondo talking about how he isn't concerned with who starts and who doesn't.

Part of leadership is getting the team to buy into the importance of team over self, and that's what Rondo is talking about. There are some great lessons in this quote if you spend somet ime thinking about it: leadership lessons, teammate lessons, and trust lessons. Let's take a look at each of these:

LEADERSHIP LESSONS: Rondo is basically saying it's not as important who starts and who doesn't; the key is that the best lineup at any given time in the game be what's best for the team. He's putting team before individual and he fully understands that the best decisions for winning are decisions that put the team above the individual.
TEAMMATE LESSONS: This is a tough one. In one sense, he's saying, "we want the best player out on the floor for that time of the game." This gives that teammate tremendous confidence in that Rondo is saying ,"I believe in you". On the other hand, the player who's not out there may be thinking, "he believes in him more than he believes in me." This is where leadership becomes tougher than people think -- that balance between keeping guys happy, motivated, and engaged when their number isn't called.
TRUST LESSONS: What Rondo is really saying here is, "I trust the decision my coach is making. I know my coach makes his decisions based on what's best for the team. I trust this and now it's my job to help that player excel."
The ultimate lesson here is even bigger. What you say can be very important to the success or failure of a team, an organization, or a business. Whenever a statement is made with an individual's name in it, you can bet that person will pay attention to it and he will make his own own interpretation of the message. So what you say does become important. I just warn players to think first, talk second. And the same applies to us as coaches.
There are even more messages we can learn by Rondo's statement. These are just a few to get you thinking. It's a good exercise as you read articles on other teams and players as well as your own. To quote one of Doc's favorite phrases: "I know what he said, but what did he say?"

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