James, Westbrook, or Bryant – Who is the best teammate?

You may want to argue about who is the best player but in the playoffs this year it is clear to me that Lebron James is the best teammate.

In game five of the Western Conference finals, Kobe Bryant competed hard, as he always does, but ask yourself if he made his teammates better?  His frustration with Pau Gasol, who had a double-double (14 points and 16 rebounds), was visible throughout the game.  When your teammate isn’t playing his well, challenge him yes, but acting like he is a total screw up is ineffective.

Russell Westbrook is terrific in the Lakers series but it is surprising how few times he passed after he received the ball.  Most of the time when he started the break, he took it coast to coast when there were guys ahead of him.  In the half court sets if he gets the ball, the shot is going up.  The willingness to share the ball is a key to keeping your teammates involved.

Dwane Wade had a particularly tough game three against the Pacers.  In game four, Lebron helped Wade by focusing on getting Wade involved in the offense and sharing the ball.

The contrast between how Kobe and Lebron try to help their teams is clear.   When a teammate is struggling yelling at them and showing your frustration in your body language is not as effective.  Challenge your teammates to perform better, absolutely.  You will be a more effective teammate and make the team better when you share the ball and get everyone involved.

[Image: Flickr user KeithAllison]

Three Myths about What Customers Want

Sometimes as business owners, we think the conventional wisdom applies to us and this article suggests we should reconsider.

Myth #1: Most consumers want to have a relationship with your brand.

I fall into the 77% of consumers that do have a relationship, and I do not want a relationship, with brands.

The article says this is why attempts to build a relationship through loyalty programs or endless emails do not work for me.

See what you think about the other two myths.  Read the article “Three Myths about What Customers Want” by Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner, and Anna Bird on HBR online from May 23, 2012.

8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture – Fast Company

8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture, BY Paul Alofs | 05-21-2012 | 6:05 AM  Fast Company

“Hire for passion and commitment first, experience second, and credentials third. You don’t want to be simply a stepping stone on an employee’s journey toward their own passion.”

Paul’s article makes some great points.  Point 3 is “Tend to the weeds”, which means deal with whiners.  They don’t stand up and say what they think is wrong but instead lurk behind the scenes undermine progress.

Personal Approach Not Always Best in Viral Marketing – MIT Sload Management Review

MIT Sloan Management ReviewPersonal Approach Not Always Best in Viral Marketing by Deb Gallagher, January 19, 2012.

I was surprised by the research findings.  “The researchers Sinan Aral and Dylan Walker designed an experiment involving a Facebook application that tested two kinds of product contagion messages against each other.   The researchers wrote:

Although active-personalized viral messages are more effective in encouraging adoption per message and are correlated with more user engagement and sustained product use, passive-broadcast messaging is used more often, generating more total peer adoption in the network.”