How to be a leader and a team player at the same time

The summer before the 2010-2011 NBA season was full of promise for the Miami Heat.



The Heat were among the clear favorites in the NBA to capture a championship. After acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the off-season, joining together with shooting-guard Dwyane Wade, the superstar trio then touted as the "Big Three", were on their way to victory.

The Miami Heat were deemed a 'Super Team'. A season-ending with any standing lower than first place, would have been deemed an utter failure. In their first press conference after the new hires, LeBron James predicted that his new team would be winning for many years:

LeBron James: It's going to be easy. I mean -- Announcer: But we also know you three kings came down here to win championships. LeBron, tell us about that. LeBron James: Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.

It was not the first time nor the last, that an NBA team filled it's roster with multiple all-stars to facilitate league domination. The Heat came close, but after 6 games during the NBA Championship, they lost to the Dallas Mavericks.



Organizational psychologist and Wharton Universityprofessor- Adam Grant argued, that the Heat's decision to stack the team with all-stars may not have been the wisest decision:

"They had three players who were all used to taking the game-winning shot. Lots of stars means lots of egos and lots of egos means infighting. To overcome that problem, you need humility. Humility is having the self-awareness to know what you're good at and what you're not good at. Studies show that when you have humility in a team, people are more likely to play to their strengths. Instead of going for the spotlight, they take on the roles where they can help the team win."


This episode highlights the challenge that many companies, organizations, and groups face. On the one hand, great leaders will offer vision, inspiration, role-modelling, support, experience, knowledge, organization, and many other talents and capabilities. Nevertheless, leaders are humans just like you and me, they have limitations and are more susceptible to