Power Players

LeBron James explains how parenthood has made him a more effective leader in sports

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen shaking hands with his sons Bryce Maximus James and LeBron James Jr. after winning the game against the Utah Jazz on November 23, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew D. Bernstein | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen shaking hands with his sons Bryce Maximus James and LeBron James Jr. after winning the game against the Utah Jazz on November 23, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to being an NBA superstar with three championship rings and four MVP awards, LeBron James is a husband and father of three.

On a recent episode of the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show," James explains how being a parent has helped him to become a more effective leader in sports.

"I think the No. 1 thing is patience," he says. "When I talk about patience, it comes back to being a father.

"I have three kids. And I want the best out of my kids just like any parent in the world. But what I have learned is that to get the best out of my three kids, I can't approach them all the same way because they all have different personalities."

In the end, he says, "I had to find out, 'How do I tap into each one of my kids to get the same result but teach them differently?' And that's the same with being the leader of a basketball team, the leader of a franchise. You can't express or talk to everyone the same way and expect to get the same result or get the most out of them because every personality is different."

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Jim McIsaac | Getty Images
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

As an NBA veteran who is in his 16th season with the league, James is fully aware of the leadership responsibilities he must live up to, regardless of which team he plays for.

Earlier this year, his Los Angeles Lakers teammate Rajon Rondo praised him for his ability to always be a voice of reason for his peers on and off the court.

"He's LeBron. He's one name," Rondo said during the NBA preseason in September. "It speaks for itself. He's been a leader and a mentor in this league for a long time, on and off the court. He has a blueprint off the court as well. So he embraces his role. He embraces all the pressure that he's ever dealt with in his career, and he's always risen above the occasion."

"You can't express or talk to everyone the same way and expect to get the same result or get the most out of them because every personality is different." -LeBron James

In addition to being understanding of his kids and his teammates, James is also looking inward, especially as a first-year Lakers player who is working towards another championship. "I'm not a very patient guy," he told the Associated Press after his first practice.

But, he said, "I've got to be patient with myself, too, because this is a new start for me. It's my first year in a new system. I know how to play the game of basketball, but this is all new to me, too. So I have to be patient with myself, not only with my teammates."

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