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Tim in Action

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Piercing through all of the noise

Let Your Performance Do the Talking. Don’t Be a LeBron

Last month I read the following Instagram post by LeBron James:

kingjames Wanna be one of the first to Congratulate you on this accomplishment/achievement tonight that you’ll reach! Only a handful has reach/seen it too and while I know it’s never been a goal of yours from the beginning try(please try) to take a moment for yourself on how you’ve done it! The House you’re about to be apart of has only 6 seats in it(as of now) but 1 more will be added and you should be very proud and honored to be invited inside. There’s so many people to thank who has help this even become possible(so thank them all) and when u finally get your moment(alone) to yourself smile, look up to the higher skies and say THANK YOU! So with that said, Congrats again Young King.” 

Yes, you are reading this post correctly (or I hope you are). LeBron James is congratulating himself on his own accomplishments.

Two things struck me about this post; either he has no one around him who he respects enough to tell him this was bad for his brand or he doesn’t care. Either way, this is precisely why LeBron is a polarizing and not galvanizing brand the way Michael Jordan or Shaq are.

Let me contrast James’ post with a recent experience I had with one of my clients. (We’ll call my client Mike for purposes of this post) Mike is super successful and very, very wealthy. Recently, Mike and I were walking to another client of mine’s office to discuss an investment opportunity. Along the way we walked by a homeless man who was smiling and greeting everybody who passed by.

I was dressed in a suit and tie with a pocket square. My shoes were spit shined. Mike was dressed in slacks, a collared shirt and sports coat. As we passed the homeless guy he looked at both of us and remarked to me, “Man, you must be the boss.” I must admit, it was a little awkward.

Mike, on the other hand, didn’t flinch. Didn’t even crack a smile. It didn’t matter to him one iota that he was not acknowledged as the more successful one of us. He has no need to proclaim himself as successful. He lets his results speak for themselves. Mike’s modesty translates into great personal brand credibility. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say a bad word about Mike.

The bottom-line is no one wants to hear someone talk about how great they are. Even if they are great as is LeBron. Bragging is a big turnoff.

If you really want to score points with people, show humility. A great recipe for brand explosion is great success mixed with a healthy portion of sincere humility.

Try it. You’ll like the results. I guarantee it.

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