Posted by: Matthew Molinari | April 7, 2012

Not Trying to Say I Told You So…

Last week I wrote a post about leadership framed around Andrew Bynum of the LA Lakers. In it, I predicted that without clear leadership people near the edge will most certainly end up falling over it. Since that writing, there have been 2 major developments.

First, take a look at this video clip and try to ignore the monster dunk that Griffin has over Pau Gasol:

You can see at about the 50 second mark Bynum is off to the side after the dunk trying to hide his laughter. Now, that was a ridiculous dunk for sure but if you notice during the clip you can see Kobe Bryant standing next to Gasol arguing with the ref that Gasol was fouled on the play. He is standing up for his team mate not laughing at him.

Those are two completely different reactions to the idea of teamwork. At this point in the season Bynum has clearly lost his way and apparently there is not someone in the locker room who wants to step up and be a leader. Which leads me to the next clip:

It’s a little tough to tell but Bynum hits a shot, then taunts the Rocket’s bench as he runs back down court and is thrown out of the game for it. This happened yesterday. Take a look at Bynum and Coach Brown’s faces. Bynum looks like he could care less and Brown looks like a man who has given up. Keep in mind this was a critical game in which Bynum was dominating that the Lakers ended up losing.

What this all revolves around is a leader who is not willing to lead. When you have an employee who starts showing up late, producing poor work or just not meeting deadlines these are signals to you that something is wrong and needs attention. There is nothing unintentional about these signs and they point to a problem of engagement. Right now, Bynum is not engaged with his team so he has no problem being thrown out of a must win game or laughing at a teammate who needs to be backed up. He is acting out because no one is stopping him.

That is why last week I could see more trouble coming for the team because if the initial signs go unaddressed then they will only grow larger and more visible. At some point either the players or owner need to step in and be a leader or else they are going to lose a valuable piece of the team. This is such a clear example of how a leader should be able to notice the signals from those around them and be confident enough to pull someone aside and have a conversation about performance. Leading is easy until it involves actually having to lead people who are in trouble.

Questions or Comments?

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