In today’s world of sports there is never a shortage of athletes, coaches and executives with enormous egos. With players commanding millions of eyeballs on their social media platforms, they constantly put themselves in the limelight. It gives them what I would say is an opportunity to show true leadership.
So, it was to my surprise when I saw one player show what it truly means to be a leader. Dwyane Wade
, who is one of the most successful and seasoned players in the NBA and a sure lock for the NBA Hall of Fame, "benched" himself.
Now that Wade has agreed to come off the bench, Coach Lue said it will be a permanent move.
"I just wanted to give him a chance because he'd been a starter his whole career," Lue said. "To watch him with that first unit, we see how it worked out, and he came to me and just said, 'What you said was right. It's a better fit for me in the second unit.' For a future Hall of Famer and a guy that's won three NBA championships to come to the coach and see what's best for the team, that's big time."
"That's what professionals do. No ego. He saw it was best for the team for him to come off the bench. It was his call, and here we are."
An ego free locker room and many board rooms for that matter are like unicorns and leprechauns. I haven't seen one yet.
"I came here for one reason" Wade said. "I came here to be a part of winning and to bring what I can to this team, and I want to do that".
Leading in today’s world is all about trust, transparency and creating psychologically safe cultures. In order to make these work, a leader has to have a certain level of "self-awareness."
Dwayne Wade showed the ability to drop his ego for what looks to be the best move for the team. He was able to have the humility to know the best opportunity he has to create team success was to be "benched," not to never be heard from again but to reframe his role and lead the 2nd unit to success.
So the question is, would you ‘bench’ yourself to make your company better?