What We Can All Learn from the Cleveland Cavaliers

(and no, it’s not just basketball)

First, it’s no secret I’m a Cavaliers fan. I’ve been an avid fan since one of my closest friends moved to Cleveland several years ago. And yes, I’ve got a major crush on Kevin Love (okay, but who doesn’t) and think LeBron James is THE KING.

However, this season, I’ve been in awe for a different reason. I’ve been impressed with the organization from a business perspective. This year, the Cavs had to deal with a question and issue a lot of business owners (including myself) have struggled with at one point or another – are the right players on the team?

My family and I saw this firsthand as we travelled to Cleveland for the Feb 4 game against the Houston Rockets (my daughter Peyton is a huge James Harden fan). To put it bluntly, the Cavs were pathetic losing 120-88. There was no chemistry and no energy… it was not the team I had grown to love over the years.

Four days later and before the NBA trade deadline, the team we saw that night no longer existed with six players traded including the relatively newly acquired Isaiah Thomas and Dwayne Wade.

Why is this significant? Because when something isn’t working, you can’t be scared to change it. And as a leader, you can’t worry what people will think about you or your organization. You have to stay focused on the bigger picture and end goal.

For the Cavs, taking an honest look at their people, determining what skills as a team they were missing and then making a change may have helped secure another visit to the NBA Finals (along with a lot of help from LeBron). #WhateverItTakes is the Cavs theme this year and boy, they mean it.

So, ask yourself, when it comes to the people in your organization what will it take?

  • Do you have the right people with the right skills and attitude to get you where you need to go?
  • If not, what changes do you need to make?
  • And, what’s stopping you from making these changes?

Listen, I know it’s hard. I may have learned (and continue to learn) the “people lessons” the hard way. I’ve been there and have had to make tough decisions throughout my career. However, I still stand by each decision as they’ve helped move first Moxie and now GRIT one step closer to the end goal.

I know the right people in the right seats with the right attitude and cultural fit makes all the difference in the world – no matter how hard making those decisions may be.

But I also want to thank the Cavs because every once in a while, you need a reminder.


-Julie Lando-Cross