Not many people can say that they made a career from basketball. I know what you are thinking, “Did this guy play in the NBA?” The answer to that question is no. While I did play in high school and collegiately at UNC, Charlotte, I never made it to the big leagues. But my passion for the sport helped jumped started my career in finance through a simple pick-up game with some partners from the Guardian. During that game, my resume and jump shot were not the reasons why they decided to bring me on board. My financial background of course helped me ease in conversationally, but it was the traits that I brought on the court that highlighted my overall work ethics. There are so many dynamics from the game of basketball. It is important that you correspond to those leadership qualities and translate them to your everyday life.
Be a team player. Learn the fundamentals and work with those around you
Like a child, you need to know how to crawl before you walk. Similar to basketball and any other professional field, you know to understand the basics and fundamentals of the game. Knowing how to pass, dribble, run, and shoot is what will establish you as a player. Similarly show the basic knowledge of your professional field and quick adaptability to change is what employers love to see. Show them that you are malleable; you are able to learn, grow, and develop in any aspect of the game.
Self-Confidence, Be bigger than yourself
Never hide the fact that it is your intention to be the best. In every game we want to win. It is our priority to perform at the highest level. Having this type of self-assurance in how you approach the game or overarching decisions will be a true definer in your overall mental thinking. Remember, it is more than being physically stronger. Mental strength and self-confidence can go a long way in pushing yourself forward in your career whether it is on the court or at the office.
Strategies, Anticipate the Play
The greatest players have been extraordinary not simply from their tricks and their points, but from their vision and awareness of the game. Initiating a plan of action, especially in the heat of the game, is what separates a player from a leader. Having this keen type of intelligence gives you an advantage in seeing and analyzing an entire situation at creating success once understood. This is by no means an easy task. Not many people can anticipate the play before it actually happens. You want to always have your eyes and ears open so that if it is your point guard feeding you the ball or a senior partner handing you a contract, you know how to best approach the situation.
Leadership, take control when need be
There will come a time where you need to veer away from the flock and become the one that leads the herd. When this day comes, own it and embrace it. Begin by establishing bold visions and goals for you and your team to work towards. Having these short-term and long-term goals will push you and those around you to strive for something bigger. Furthermore, work in a purposeful and strategic way. Aim not simply for what is ask from you but what you can constantly improve on. This is what a leader does. A leader motivates, inspires and creates. No matter where you go, embracing this responsibility in your professional field will change you for the better. Just remember, at the end of the day, think bigger picture.
Perseverance, never give up, always go for the win
No matter what the situation is, always find a way to take control. It may be difficult at times when things are not going your way, but believing in yourself and pushing that ‘never give up’ mentality is what you need to do to take control of the game. This perseverance separates the winners from the workers. It separates living and dying. You need to want it more than you want to breathe. Coaches, teammates, supervisors, and coworkers will see this in you. It will create that chain reaction that will eventually lead you to victory.