Andre Iguodala won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for the 2015 Finals. If you’re not a basketball fan, that probably means nothing to you, but stick with me.
Iguodala has been in the NBA for 11 years, playing as a starter every season he’s been in the league… except for this season. Steve Kerr (a member of the legendary Bulls dynasty with Michael Jordan, and rookie coach of the Golden State Warriors) decided that Iguodala would be the biggest asset to the team as sixth man – the first person to come off the bench each game – this season.
Considering that many players think first about themselves and occasionally about winning, it would have been easy for Iguodala to pout and become a cancer for the Warriors this year.
Instead, he responded like a man on a mission to make his team better. He played gutsy basketball off the bench all year, worked his tail off in practice, and became a key leader on the team. He kept his head down, worked hard, and showed what it means to truly want to win championships as a team player.
Then, in game four of the NBA finals, with his team down 2–1 in the series, Iguodala got the call from Coach Kerr to start the game with the unenviable assignment of guarding one of the greatest (and whiniest) players in NBA history: Lebron James.
Iguodala was magnificent for the final three games of the series, leading the team to it’s first NBA Championship since 1975.
Doing the work to be ready when opportunities arise is the name of the game whether you’re an athlete, an entrepreneur, or an artist. We talk about overnight successes as if they just happen.
If you want to win championships (or whatever your equivalent) and be ready to lead when your time comes… you have to put in the work now. Pouting will get you nowhere. Preparation will.
What work should you be doing today so that you’re ready when it’s your turn?
Thanks to Andre Iguodala for the inspiration for today’s post. I have so much respect for the way he plays the game of basketball and the example he sets for aspiring leaders.