Great Leaders Are Sensitive and Deeply Care
It must have been the most embarrassing moment of her life. 13 year old Natalie Gilbert was given the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at mid-court for game 3 of the 2003 NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals in front television cameras and 20,000 people.
Her performance started smoothly, but she soon forgot the words. Fortunately, she had a friend and quite a leader in basketball coach Maurice Cheeks who quickly came to her aid. He placed his hand on her shoulder and sang along. He also encouraged the crowd to join, which they gladly did. You can see that moment on the video below. Never underestimate the power of leaders.
This was the first time I had ever heard the story or seen the video. I was moved, as I am sure you will be as well.
It’s at these moments that great leaders appear. Head coach Maurice Cheeks had other things to think about in preparing for a big game, but because by nature he cares about people he was there for Natalie. A former coach of Cheeks, Billy Cunningham, said, “What Maurice did brought tears to my eyes. I was so proud of him. But that was typical Maurice, to spontaneously do the right thing at the right time and generally without fanfare.”
When there is a need, leaders appear. They provide support in marvelous and important ways. If needed, they garner the support of others. They deeply care about people and put the needs of others ahead of their own. Do you know of leaders like this? Are you striving to be this kind of leader yourself?
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