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Season One

Opinion

Checkmate! How to Make Major Boss Moves in the Last Half of the Year like Oprah & Lebron James.

You’re halfway through 2018. Where did the time go? While it seems like everyone around you is living their best life without a loss in sight, some introspection has you believing it might be time to adjust strategy. The pros and cons tip the scale in one direction, yet you don’t want to look back with regret because you selected the path of least resistance. Perhaps a look into the lives of King James and the Queen of All Media, Oprah Winfrey, might help you make moves fit for a boss the last half of this year. I’ve got three things I want to share with you about their recent decisions.

The internet has been buzzing with chatter over the last few days because of these two headline-grabbing individuals that made some major decisions of their own. We learned that King James himself has decided to abdicate his throne in the Rock and Roll Capital of the World and head to the City of Angels to play for the Lakers. James’ election to ink the landmark deal came less than 24 hours after he entered free agency.

Elsewhere, Oprah graced the cover of British Vogue and the optics had us all gazing in awe thanks to the creative direction of editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. Hitting newsstands on July 6, Winfrey candidly opens up about “that rumored move into politics,” the publication teases in promotion of the August 2018 cover.

I’m sure there are many factors that contributed to Oprah’s declination of a presidential bid and the King’s pick to adorn himself in purple and gold. However, there were three factors that stood out for me as I examine their decision-making process. In the cases of Mr. James and Ms. Winfrey, I think it’s safe to say that faith, family and the future were driving forces to their final answers. And I believe these principles are exactly the same for you and me – minus the 100 million-dollar contract and a “Time’s Up” speech that prompted a national outcry for either of us to occupy the oval office.

Start with faith.

Simply defined, faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Anyone who knows me is aware of my stance on faith. I believe in the Bible and I have a strong belief the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised in the scriptures is the guiding force for my life. You may not share my belief, but I assure you what and/or who you believe in is critical to your decision-making process because your belief is the framework for your reality.

While influential voices around you might sound persuasive, Oprah advises us to follow our “internal guidance system.” Back in February, she told 60 Minutes, “I’ve never looked outside for other people to tell me something or when I should be making a move,” she said. “If God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kind of tell me? And I haven’t heard that.”

Consult your family.

The people closest to you can have a major impact on what you deem to be a success. Imagine making it to the mountaintop, but you had to sacrifice the majority of life-giving relationships in your circle along the way. Your goal was attained on one hand, but who is left to enjoy it with you? That sounds like depression waiting to happen. Plus, you can’t deny how much joy is available to those who give more than they can receive – especially to the ones they love.

It seems Savannah (James’ wife) had been California dreaming for some time. Prior to James’ signing with the Lakers, there were whispers that Mrs. James wanted to live in Los Angeles full time, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. In a piece published in the LA Times, Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner state that “James didn’t need much convincing or elaborate proposals. He knew how much he loved living in Los Angeles, how his family enjoyed summers in Brentwood.”

I recall one of my mentors, Darwin Hobbs, referring to people that he consults for major decisions as a pseudo board of directors for his life. I really like that concept! If companies deem it necessary to have buy-in from those with the best interest of the organization, we can adopt that practice in our own lives. Consult those who just want to see you win and won’t hesitate to tell you the truth if you’re headed toward a cliff.

Focus on the future.  

You must – and I repeat must – remember where you’re going. How frustrating would it be to carpool to an event with your friend but never make it there because your friend decides to make pit stops and side trips along the way?

“[James] knew what the Lakers once meant to the NBA. He believed enough in this team’s future, its leadership and his own recruiting abilities to sign a four-year deal,” Ganguli and Turner went on to explain in the LA Times piece. James sat with Magic Johnson late Saturday evening at his Brentwood Home to bond over their Midwest upbringing, their view on basketball as a gateway to business and a vehicle to effect change in the social discourse of our nation. A little over two hours later, James agreed to a four-year deal worth $154 million.

For the record, I don’t follow basketball this heavily, so I must give credit to my brother-in-love, Joe Little, who made sure my inner basketball analyst was on point for this article.

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