The Management Lesson Of Chris Paul
A leader must recognize their own failures rather than feign infallibility.
A few days ago, the Clippers faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fifth game of a playoff series that they ended up losing. The Clippers had two big leads in the game but were defeated due to three mistakes – two turnovers and a foul – committed by Chris Paul in the last 45 seconds of the game, which he described as “the toughest thing I’ve been through, basketball-wise.”
During the post-game press conference, Paul made the following comments on his performance: “You know we lost and it’s on me. Everything that happened there at the end is on me. None of the guys on the team could have done anything about it. It was just me. I’m supposed to be the leader of the team. That can’t happen.”
By demonstrating that honesty, Chris Paul once again showed why he is a great team leader. Indeed, a leader who recognizes their failures, even and especially when it is very painful for them to do so, produces two positive outcomes: (i) They exemplify how demanding every team member should be with themselves and (ii) they foster respect and therefore commitment.
When it comes to management, infallible heroes have no great future.