“Big time players make big time plays in big times games.” – Santana Moss

  • Big time sales people make big time presentations to big time clients.
  • Big time producers deliver big time results at big time moments.
  • Big time speakers deliver big time talks to big time crowds.
  • Big time musicians deliver big time performances at big time events.
  • And big time pastors deliver big time sermons on big time Sundays.

Every leader feels the pressure, urgency and sense of excitement when they know the chips are down and their best is required.  It is true, big time players make big time plays in big time games.  These are the Apex Leaders.

This was the case when the Golden State Warriors faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs on May 28th.  The Warriors were facing elimination in front of a hostile crowd and in the same building they lost two games by 28 and 24 points respectively just one week prior.

It was in this pressure-packed environment, with their season on the line and everything against them, that All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson delivered a heroic, career-defining performance leading the Warriors to a 108-101 victory.

As we look at Thompson’s performance, we glean the following 13 Things Apex Leaders Do Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos.  The quotes and many of the insights come from Michael Lee’s May 30th column from Yahoo Sports.

If you are facing a critical moment in your organization, these are vital lessons you need to know.

  1. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Do Not Demonstrate False Humility – Thompson is the best shooting guard in professional basketball.  Top leaders are not called to deny their giftedness but to invest it.  Thompson needed to play big in Game 6 for the Warriors’ season to continue.  His role required it.
  2. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Cannot Be Passive – They must engage the issue.  Thompson told The Vertical, “We (he and Steph Curry) just told each other (prior to the game), be aggressive.  Go out there and do what we do.”
  3. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Deliver Superior Results – Thompson hit an NBA-play-off record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points in the team’s victory.  A video of his and the game’s highlights is shown above.
  4. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Embrace The Challenge – After the humiliating Game 4 loss, Draymond Green told the team before leaving the locker room, “Let’s embrace this.  We’ve made history all year and we can do it again, to get where we want to go.  Embrace the challenge, that’s what champions do.”
  5. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Compensate For Others – They pick up the slack.  Leading scorer and 2-time league MVP Curry has been injured or playing erratically through much of the play-offs.  Thompson has picked up the slack.
  6. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Keep Things Simple – Genius is making the complicated simple, not the simple complicated.  Thompson focuses on the fundamentals during the game’s biggest moments.
  7. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Remain Confident – Confidence comes from your memory.  You have been here and done this before.  Thompson trusts his preparation and never loses confidence.
  8. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Find A Way To Add Value – Along with Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, Thompson is the best two-way player in the league.  Even when his shot is not falling, Thompson will guard the opposing team’s best offensive guard along with rebounding, passing and cheering on his teammates.
  9. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Look For Every Opportunity To Make A Positive Impact – Curry says, “All Klay needs is a sliver of daylight.”
  10. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Apex Leaders Often Rescue Their Organizations – Green said, “He takes a backseat a lot of times, but to have a performance like that with our backs against the wall, to kind of save us to get over that hump, it don’t get no better than that.”
  11. After Succeeding While Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos, Apex Leaders Focus On Team Success, Not Personal Glory – Thompson said, “Winning trumps all that (lack of attention because of Curry) so much more.  All that will come with winning. I realize that. I’m just focused on getting to the championship again. All the extra stuff, the stuff off the court, it will come. Just be patient. It’s not my top priority. I just love to hoop.”
  12. After Succeeding While Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos, Apex Leaders Look Ahead To The Next Challenge – Great leaders enjoy the victory but immediately begin looking forward.  Thompson said after the Game 6 victory, “Unbelievable. It’s an amazing, feeling. I’m going to enjoy it now. Great times.  We’re going to enjoy this tonight, but quick turnaround. We realize this team is going to be hungry on Monday and we didn’t come this far to end it on Monday.”
  13. Under Intense Pressure, Conflict And Chaos Organizations Are Thankful For Their Apex Leaders – Thompson summed up his feelings after Game 6 “What a game. What a game.  The NBA should thank us for that game.”

If the Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers and win the 2015-2016 NBA Championship, we will look back to Thompson’s timeless Game 6 performance as the singular moment which made it possible.

I am so enjoying this look at Apex Leaders, the best in their professions, during the month of June.  If you missed some of the previous profiles, click the following:

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Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1869 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2015 Global Leadership Summit, That Church, REACT and Catalyst Conferences.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

 

 

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