May 9, 2017
 
We're back with this month's edition of  The Current , a leadership  e-newsletter that brings fresh perspectives to life.

The Change Maker


 
What Looks Like Crazy in an Extraordinary Career

I'm from Chicago and came of age in the Michael Jordan era of NBA basketball. As luck would have it, I had access to season tickets during the years Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to win back to back championships. A truer fan there will never be. And here I am today using James Harden as the backdrop for this article. James Harden!?! C'mon. Me? The diehard Chicagoan living deep in the heart of Texas?  I bet you're shocked. Heck, I'm shocked

And that's just it: change can rise up unexpectedly and at first blush, it can seem, well, crazy.

Change  is crazy, at first.
Just ask James Harden.
He went from playing forward to the point guard position, from being the go-to guy making shots to the dish man: the guy who passes the ball off, orchestrates shots most often made by other players. He became the man in full control of the ball. He moved from being the Shot Maker to the Shot Caller.
From the spectator seats watching the results of his transformation during this year's playoffs, it sounds like an easy lay-up of a change.  A no-brainer for Harden to move from being a forward to point guard.
Not so.
The proposition of moving to point guard was nutty, a hair brained idea to make mid-career. This perspective is especially valid given that Harden became a NBA superstar by playing as a forward. 
When Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni asked Harden to transform into a point guard, Harden told Time magazine that he "thought D'Antoni was crazy".
Harden was doing what he was doing but the team wasn't winning.
The Rockets were not winning enough to be real playoff contenders. Most superstars pin lackluster results and an inability to win on the shortfalls of their supporting cast, not on their own backs.
Sound familiar to behavior you've seen from 'superstars' at work?
The Houston Rockets coach saw that Harden had to change.
How did James Harden embrace the crazy notion that the path to greatness required him to change and let go of what led him to prominence in the first place?

Crazy Change- James Harden Style 
Step 1: Take Stock:
Harden took stock of his history, trajectory and contribution to the Rockets as a forward and the dismal  2015-2016 season where the team barely made the playoffs.
How is what you're doing working for you? Step back and take note of what's working and what's in need of change.

Step 2: Set Your Sights:
Harden set his sights on a target: to be one of the best basketball players in the world.
Harden told TIME magazine, "After eight years in the league, I looked in the mirror at myself and said "this is what you're doing, this is what you have to be better at and in order to be one of the best basketball players in the world, I have to change.
I've changed".
What sights can you set your mind to see, take in and accomplish?
Write those wild and crazy ideas and dreams down in your phone, Outlook calendar or heck, in ink on your hand. Make the first move to make it real by getting it out of your head.
Then refine your idea or dream into headlines that fuel you.

Step 3: Put the Work In:
Harden hunkered down last summer in Arizona with his personal trainer and strength coach. He willingly became a student and studied and learned the skills, leadership and artistry required to be a point guard. He worked on transforming his game.

How bad do you want that crazy idea or dream that you've set your sights on?
Be willing to deliberately move toward your goals by creating baby and big step actions and the tactics that go along with them.

Is it Time for YOU to Change?
Is the change you're contemplating a crazy proposition, given where you've been and where you are now?
Harden spent eight years in the league before he changed to point guard. Eight. Long. Years.  People say life is short. If you're in a rut or in dire need to remake yourself, your job, your work relationships, interests or even revamp how you spend your free time, life can be really long. It can feel like you're slow walking the longest miles of your life.
How many years have you spent standing on the precipice of change? Standing in front of the mirror, unwilling to turn on the lights to see the need for change staring back at you?
James Harden stared down who he was to change into who he is today: a phenomenal point guard, leading the Rockets to a 55-27 season, ranking third in the NBA Western Conference and making the Houston Rockets must see TV during the NBA playoffs. Harden changed to become who he is destined to be.
Harden could change, Harden did change.
And you can too.

Power up and power through.
Be crazy. Change.
Carpe diem!
Ready to make a change for the better? 
Let WaterLight group be your Change Agent.
One on one coaching with certified professional leadership coaches can help you pinpoint  and address specific changes that will propel your work life and change your trajectory. Our experiential leadership workshops can assist you in transforming a team into formidable contenders who are pacesetters in your industry.
Our approach and execution of leadership off sites can enable your team to reach beyond current levels and envision and implement the extraordinary.
Not in Houston? Our coaches, content and experiential materials travel well.
Contact us today to explore the changes that will take you to the next level.

Tracy Carmen-Jones, President
About WaterLight Group
The WaterLight Group is a full service leadership coaching and management consulting firm. 

Waterlight can amplify your impact and results.  Contact us today for a consultation.