6 Leadership Lessons from Game 6 of the NBA Finals

While watching game 6 of the NBA Finals, I found myself getting caught up in the excitement of the game. Now I am not a fan of either team. I was just looking for an exciting game that came down to the wire…I got exactly what I wished for.


Courtesy of Flickr by RMTip21

For those who do not watch basketball, game 6 was between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. The importance of this game was if the Spurs won they would be crowned the NBA Champions. Miami was trying to hold them off and force a final game 7. Game 6 came down to the wire with Miami down by 75-65 at the end of the 3rd quarter. With 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter the Heat were down by 5 points and they went on a 6-1 run. In dramatic fashion, hitting two 3-point shoots, Miami tied the game at the end of regulation forcing overtime (click here to see highlights). In the end the Miami Heat won game 6, 103-100 in overtime.

What can we learn from what has been called “The Best Game Ever” or “The Game of the Millenium?” Here are 6 lessons I took from Game 6 of the NBA Finals:

  1. Finish the game or whatever it is you have started. To have the mental fortitude to finish what you start helps build a person’s character. Never give up and keep fighting for what you want until final buzzer sounds. This is a great skill to learn for anyone at any age because there is or was a reason you started “it.”
  2. Preparation and practice are important. Spend time preparing for your “game.” NBA players spend the offseason training and practicing. Then they play 82 games before even getting to the playoffs. What do you need to do prepare for your next meeting, project, or presentation?
  3. Action needs to be taken. We can’t just sit around and do nothing. For the Heat and Spurs the action was playing their best and their hardest to win the game. For me it is constantly asking myself what can I do in this very moment to get a step closer to completing a goal or a task I need to get done. While I might not be the completion of the entire goal I will be that much closer and that is a small victory. What are you putting off? What can you do to get a step closer to completing it?
  4. We all need help/support. No one gets to the end without the help or support of others. While there are 5 players from each team on the court playing a basketball game. There are still a number of players and coaches on the bench. There are countless employees of the team that help the players along the way (i.e. trainers, travel staff, cooks, etc.). Who are your team, support, and helpers?
  5. Take a timeout to change momentum. In game 6 of the NBA Finals the coaches called timeouts for numerous reasons. One of them being to change the momentum of the game. How often do you need to change the momentum of your day? It is perfectly okay when you are having a bad day or even a good day to “call a timeout,” collect your thoughts and attempt to either change the momentum (i.e. bad day) or reflect on why day is going so well (i.e. good day).
  6. Get the right people in the game at the right time. The head coach of the Spurs has been taking a lot of criticism over the last couple of days because during the final 28 seconds of regulation in game 6 his best rebounder and veteran player, Tim Duncan, was on the bench. Many commentators and sports analysts believe that if Duncan was on the court during those final seconds that Miami would not have been able to get the offensive rebounds they got to get the extra shoots needed to tie the game. Are you in the right place? Is your team in the right place and are you setting them up to win? It takes a strong leading to know the skill set of their team and it takes a capable leader to put them in “the game” at the right time for the entire team to succeed.

How will you implement these lessons into your everyday life?