“When you’re the elite, the exception, the example, you get to a peak and you try to explain what got you there rather than growing it.  Complacency creeps in, and by the time you realize it, you’re regressing.  That’s the plateau.  Getting past it requires stimuli, and oftentimes the best stimuli is failure.” – Miami Heat forward James Jones discussing the book The Plateau Effect

Most people desire the income, notoriety, influence, benefits and perks that many leaders have.  Few, however, are willing to pay the price those leaders paid to get those perks.

There is a cost that leaders must be willing to pay.  That is why the title of a July 1st Sports Illustrated article captured my attention.  The title was “LeBron On His MJ Moment AND Why This Road To The Ring Was Twice As Tough.”  I wanted to know the costs LeBron James paid for his success.

As I read the article, it became apparent the cost James paid is one all leaders must be willing to pay to achieve personal success.  The following are the 12 Costs All Leaders Must Be Willing To Pay For Success I gleaned from the article.

  1. The Cost Of Worry And Anxiety – James said, “There were times I couldn’t eat.”  This was attributed to James being both too anxious and wired.
  2. The Cost Of Stress – James said, “It was the stress.”  During the playoffs he only averaged two hours of sleep per night.  This is down from seven or eight during the rest of the year.
  3. The Cost Of Comfort – During the Heat’s 23 playoff games, James played a total of 960 minutes.  In a letter to coach Erik Spoelstra, James said he would “Do everything to help the team, no matter what cost.”
  4. The Cost Of Responsibility – James understood that no matter how he performed individually, if the team lost it would be his fault.
  5. The Cost Of Recovery – After every game, James required individual treatment that included ice,massages, cold and hot tub, stimulations, Pilates, and heavy bag boxing.
  6. The Cost Of Hard Work – During the San Antonio series James was called upon to set more screens that at any point in his career.  This meant additional wear and tear on his body.
  7. The Cost Of Fatigue – James had to pace himself taking a few plays off on offense, but never on defense.
  8. The Cost Of Time – Shane Battier says, “He is strong and he’s fast and he can jump, but what separates him is how far he goes.”
  9. The Cost Of Confidence – Even as accomplished as James is,he still struggles with self-doubt.  He says, “Even the best have self-doubt at times when what they’re doing isn’t working  You need a reminder.”
  10. The Cost Of Expectation – Business Manager Maverick Carter says, “It’s not wrong to ask a great player to be great.”
  11. The Cost Of Comparison – Excellence becomes average when it is all you deliver.  Cam Newton says, “His good, for anybody else, is great.  His great is iconic.”
  12. The Cost Of Complacency – Leaders must keep growing.  James sums it up when he says, “I’m a totally different person on the court, off the court, and everywhere in between.”

Worry, Stress, Comfort, Responsibility, Recovery, Hard Work, Fatigue, Time, Confidence, Expectation, Comparison, and Complacency.  Leaders, are you willing to pay these 12 costs for success?

Let me hear from you.  What other costs have you had to pay as a leader?

Designed by Rolla Creative