Weekender: LeBron James on Utilizing Criticism

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Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a two-pointer of thought to start your weekend on the right track. Why just a two-pointer? Because it’s the weekend!

If you’re in (or aspire to be in) a leadership role, then you’ve made a mistake. Even the greatest of the great have had a misstep at some point. But has anyone ever communicated your error for the whole world to see?

Back in December, John Schuhmann of NBA.com tweeted out a graph illustrating that LeBron James was the worst-shooting player outside of the three-point line:

When LeBron read this, and he did, there were a few ways he could react. One was to ban Schuhmann from all access to his games. Another would have been to respond to Schuhmann with a personal attack. The third option, however, exhibits why LeBron is one of the best basketball players today. He said,

I actually saw [it] on my Instagram feed that I was the worst-shooting player in the NBA. I actually saw that when I woke up from a nap. I remember exactly when that was. Denver. Right before the Denver game, so I answered the call… It doesn’t bother me. It puts me back in the gym.

LeBron used this negative feedback to reignite and refocus his game. He spent more time on the court for pregame shooting and made warming up a greater priority. Within the next two weeks, LeBron improved his accuracy by almost 25%.

Like LeBron, we cannot allow ourselves to be so overcome with ego that we ignore or dismiss those who point out our flaws. Critiques both big and small should be considered to help improve our game. Although, if you can help it, maybe your criticism can be delivered in a less public forum.

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