It’s been just a few days now since Kawhi Leonard left the Toronto Raptors to join the LA Clippers and sent the rest of the NBA into a whirlwind of shock and awe.
In the 2019 Finals, MVP Kawhi proved to be the key the Toronto Raptors needed to lead them to the NBA championship. But this past weekend, Kawhi announced he was ready to head home.
With what USA Today would call, “Jerry West’s magical touch,” the Clippers easily sabotaged the LA Lakers’ free-agent plans, after they picked the last available All-Star quality player, making the Lakers wait as other free-agent teams signed. Kawhi’s move was a shock to many. Kawhi had strategically planned his exit to be the very package he would leave for. Joining the Clippers on a four-year, $141 million contract, Kawhi was only willing to make the move contingent on the Clippers also getting ahold of Paul George.
Now the addition of the two Southern California players prepares the Clippers to be championship contenders. It is a move that has changed the NBA game for everyone overnight. Yet, before the Lakers and Raptors began to leak the news, Kawhi had long kept the plans under wraps until everything was in place. The tactful, discreet, and unexpected way that the Clippers have raised their game, offers several leadership lessons.
Here are 5 ways to make the bold move rather than talk about it:
- Don’t broadcast it. The Clippers stayed quiet for some time before the Lakers and Raptors started leaking the news. The timing of when you choose to reveal your game plan is critical. As you're in the beginning planning stages, rather than talking about it, begin to prepare all you will need to make it happen. Don’t get too excited to unveil your plan before all the pieces are in place.
- Commit to go after it. It is very easy to get excited about a plan and to dream about the big reveal so much it seems a reality well before it is. Particularly in our insta-moment culture, we can assume a lot is destined to happen before we put the hard work in. Commit to your plan by creating a focus and a step-by-step process to execute your vision.
- Identify all the right pieces to your puzzle. Determine everything you will need to see your goal through. Especially when your next move is risky or will mean change for many, carefully determine everything you need to move forward. Kawhi wasn’t ready to make the move until Paul George was secured on his team and waited to move until it was officially in place. Puzzles often take more patience than we’re willing to put in, but it is the only way you can begin to put the pieces together.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page. As you move forward, invite people into the conversation. Hear from your team and from key players who are a part of the transitions. How do they feel about the plan? What are their suggestions? What key pieces do they see as part of the puzzle?
- Don’t speak up until it’s all in place. Although this step may appear to be the easiest, it may actually be the hardest part. Waiting to announce a transition or unveil a plan until it is fully baked requires a great deal of self-control. But, for the sake of this bold move, waiting until everything is in place is the wisest moment to speak.
It can require a lot to take an original idea to its actual execution and reveal. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and revel in the dream, but no dream can match the actual fulfillment of your plan.
As leaders we can take many tips from Kawhi; Just do it doesn’t always apply.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of “Framework Leadership.” A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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