In most winning teams, there is a person who is the glue, the heart of the team, the trusted one who assists his team players to score and shine and the team usually wins.
In basketball, "an assist" is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal.
I was a young basketball player, then a certified youth instructor (graduating from the basketball program of Wingate Institute in Israel), I am and have been a fan of the Boston Celtics since the age of 12. This year, despite a rough beginning and ageing players, the Celtics advanced to the semifinals in the Playoffs mainly because of the brilliance of Rajon Rondo their starting point guard.
With 16.2 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 12.7 per game, Rajon Rondo just passed this year the MVP LeBron James with eight post season triple-doubles *. He is tied with the legendary Oscar Robertson and trails only Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain in this category.
The value that Rondo brings to the team is beyond the statistics. What makes him so outstandingly great, and how does it relate to you and your organisation?
- Having a panoramic view and understanding the Full Picture and the details at the same time. Rondo has a complex tactical understanding of the game and the talent to see the whole picture so he can pass the ball to the most suitable and/or available person or decide to shoot. If your team mates have the opportunity to be involved in the big picture, understanding your strategic and tactical goals, they are more likely to succeed in implementing your strategy.
- Understanding the Strengths and Limitations of your players. Some players can dunk, some will score better from the three point line. Do you know the strengths of your team mates? There are various strength finding tests such as the www.strengthsfinder.com or the free brief test at www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu (you need to register first) . In www.ha-p.com workshop, we create unique instructional activities where participants learn about their colleagues common and complimentary strengths.
- Lead with your Character: Rondo shows a great deal of Tenacity & Toughness. To be a successful play-maker, mental toughness and a ‘never quit’ attitude is mandatory. Rondo has been incredible throughout the season, dealing with injuries and trade rumours. Rondo serves as a role model for his team players by giving his maximum night in and night out. He is constantly striving and achieving regardless of the conditions. He demonstrates strong resilience to overcome challenges and disappointments. If you want to be one of the most valuable players in your team, what personal example are you showing? Which one of your team mates do you trust when they have the ball in their hands and why?
- Mastering the basic: It goes without saying: a great guard needs to be in complete control of his dribble at all times without even looking at the ball. The ball is an extension of his hands. When you master your skills, your body and brain have had the needed time to focus and think then find the available player for the pass.
- Converting Challenges to Opportunities: Great guards pay attention to every situation and convert them into opportunities. For example, if two players are covering your best scorer, someone must be free to shoot. Rondo is also in control of the pace and tempo of the offence. He knows when to accelerate on a fast break and when to slow down. Although the cliché joke says "If I had 1cm more for every growth opportunity I would have been taller than Paul Sturgess of Harlem Globetrotters", how does your team handle challenges? Do you fret over them, get stuck or convert them into opportunities?
- Excited and Exciting: Enthusiasm is contagious to all that are exposed to it. Rondo seem to be passionate. He loves the game. With his great moves and passes he inspire others to have fun. Are you passionate and enthusiastic about what you are doing? Does your passion radiate to your surroundings?
- One for All: Like other legendary play makers, Rondo plays for the team. His versatility allows him to penetrate and shoot, yet he prefers to distribute to his team mates. His surprising moves excite not only the fans but also elevate the moral and confidence of the players on the court who in turn, point at him with gratitude and become more giving and less selfish. The interest of the success of the team is more important than his personal accolades. At the same time, he knows when to charge, when to shoot and takes responsibility at dire times against the clock. Is it your job to make your boss and team mates successful? How many assists do you pass? Do you show gratitude when you get an assist that allows you to score? Are you playing for the scoreboard or your own scorebook?
I chose a quote from the clip about Rajon Rondo: "Whatever my team needs - that's what I do."
* A triple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in 3 of the 5 categories in a game: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots.