Friday, July 11, 2014

Contingency Plan

The big sports story of the day centers around NBA star LeBron James and his decision to sign with his
hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. This brings an end to his four year championship run with the Miami Heat and has shaken up the landscape for other free agents. Pat Riley is the president of the Heat who orchestrated LeBron's arrival and had made great overtures to keep him in south Florida. I'm certain that Pat is greatly disappointed in the decision (as are many Heat fans) and I know the sports shows will be full of predictions for what comes next. 

Just this week I was wondering what the Heat were going to do if their team didn't come back together they way they had imagined. Pat Riley is a highly successful leader and while he might have been knocked off stride, I am sure he has given thought to what his next steps should be. While Riley will have to revamp, I feel certain that he is not scrambling for alternatives at this point. He may not have the circumstances that he desired, but he also didn't wait until this decision was announced to start thinking of what to do. 

Effective, visionary leaders are always imagining possibilities and thinking through potential obstacles to be overcome. There will always be surprises in leadership and leaders with longevity learn to prepare themselves mentally for those occasions. Being completely unprepared for unexpected outcomes puts us further behind in making future adjustments.

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