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5 Tips for an All-Star Career Strategy: Following the LeBron James Career Model

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) All-Star Weekend is February 15-17th. Whether or not you’re a LeBron James fan, an objective assessment of his talent, work ethic, philanthropy and personal brand warrants acknowledgement and respect. I don’t know Mr. James (I use his surname respectfully but refer to him hereafter as “LeBron”), but I am unapologetically, a huge fan.

As an employment/human resources/career expert, I’m in awe of LeBron’s career strategy and the development and deft execution of his personal career plan.  It’s simplicity makes it adaptable for us less talented mortals. LeBron’s departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in July 2010 is a template for how to manage a career:

  1. Set reasonable, attainable career goals.
  2. Perform at a high level by objective measurements and standards.
  3. Give yourself a reasonable time to achieve your goals; factor in your talent and marketability.
  4. Don’t overestimate your value on the open market or to your current employer. Make sure your value is not in your mind or solely your opinion.
  5. Find another job that will enable you to achieve your goals. Relocate, if necessary.

Don’t get it twisted: LeBron is a unique talent. Don’t delude yourself about your talents and marketability. Consider your performance objectively by reviewing your performance reviews and any feedback, positive and negative, received from others.  

LeBron had reasonable, achievable career goals. He not only wanted to be on a championship team, he also wanted to win multiple NBA championships.

Before LeBron left Cleveland to play for Miami without bringing an NBA championship to that city, he had given it seven seasons. Quite simply, moving to Miami gave LeBron the best opportunity to achieve his career goals.

With back-to-back successes, the Miami Heat was the NBA’s 2012 and 2013 Championship Team. Career goals one and two … Done R and Done R

His career goals achieved, LeBron returned to Cleveland in 2014, and in 2016 led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA championship. Notably, no Cleveland-based sports franchise had won a championship in more than five decades.

The plan now is to bring an NBA Championship to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a LeBron fan, I believe he can do it. We’ll have to wait to find out who will join him. To be continued…. Stay tuned.


About the Author

multifaceted employment professional, author and lecturer