One of the most important leadership skills Masai Ujiri acquired in the very difficult environment of the NBA was the understanding that flat management is the most effective key to success. It is the only way a team can work effectively and successfully in the cauldron of strong personalities and otherworldly basketball skills.
What Toronto and Canada witnessed over the last 10 days of sensational sporting history for the Toronto Raptors was their most influential leader…..Kawhi Leonard doing so by example.
While the Raptors management including Rookie Head Coach Nick Nurse
laid out the simplest roadmap for every business owner to seize upon as they illustrated through wins and losses that a superstar/leader cannot do it alone.
It all seems so obvious and the second lesson of business ….. one driven home in every first year MBA program in the free world (by burying you in work you cannot possibly do on your own), you have to create and motivate the team.
It was manifest most succinctly in the nonchalant answer ……to the absurd question after the Game 2 loss in Milwaukee
Kawhi stated “He was returning to Toronto for Game 3!”
The Leadership he exuded heading into the 4th Quarter of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference NBA Semi-Finals down since the first few minutes of the game turned into a 26-3 run. Kawhi was confident in his leadership through experience. Osmotically his team all got it at that key moment. They had absorbed this intangible and together each and every one jelled in the Division win.
We also witnessed it in the complete inverse……how ineffective managing up is (not accepting responsibility, which in the case of his Toronto superstar teammates such as Marc, Pascal, Danny et al was manifest in not shooting and always deferring to their leader) and more importantly would have been detour to failure …… even with Kawhi Leonard.
So rather than be worried if Kawhi is staying after the NBA finals conclude (hopefully with the trophy coming to “We the North”) should he elect to leave.
PLEASE embrace his impact on the City of Toronto, the Raptors basketball team and the country of Canada for his true leadership which extends well beyond the superstar that he is.
Kawhi has every positive leadership trait that Warren Buffet has…..AND more as he has dedicated himself to the pinnacle of his chosen sport of basketball. Leadership through superstardom is not enough. You need “The Kawhi Intangible”.