The Level 5 Leader!
On Tuesday May 6, 2014, two of Kevin Durant's dreams came true. He was placed on the cover of the popular basketball game NBA 2k15 and awarded the NBA 2013-2014 Most Valuable Player (32.0 ppg 7.4 rebs 5.5 ast 1.3 stl), which I believe is more important. I'm super proud of this guy, not becuase of the winning of the MVP, but because of his character.
This dude's acceptance speech was incredible! It was truly transparent and heartfelt. Any recognition Kevin Durant gets hits close to home with me not just figuratively, but literally. In the beginning of his speech, he mentioned him coming from a small county; P.G. County...specifically a city called Seat Pleasant. I grew up not even 5 miles from there in Palmer Park so I'm very familiar with where he grew up. He expressed his closeness with his first team, his mother and his brother. He also expressed how difficult it was and how his mother would go to bed hungry JUST so he and his brother could eat...how when they got their first apartment as a family without any furniture; they sat on the floor in their living room hugging one another believing "we made it".
In his speech, he then acknowledged his teammates, INDIVIDUALLY. After that, he closes out his speech recognizing his mother along with her sacrifices she made for he and his brother. He then seals the speech by saying, "You're (mom) the real MVP." *Crowd goes crazy giving her a standing ovation*
Three things that jump out at me, which have NOTHING to do with basketball, that makes KD the MVP.
1. Looks out the window instead of the mirror.
Leadership living legend, Jim Collins, has coined the phrase "Level 5 Leader". One of the things he identifies in a Level 5 Leader is someone who looks out the window instead of in the mirror. KD had a monstrous regular season! Not one time throughout that speech did this dude mention ANYTHING about HIS individual statistics, which actually got him voted the MVP.
2. Processes events
During his speech, KD says, "I don't know about yall, but when good things happen to me; I look at the things that happened to get me here." I learned this from a mentor of mine; the importance of processing. When life happens, you have to step back and take a look at the situation. Almost remove yourself from the situation and look at your situation in its entirety. It will truly give you an appreciation for where you are, where you're going, and what you've been through in order to get there.
Again, here's a guy who could have used that entire speech to talk about the season, his journey this season up to this point, along with other accolades, but he didn't. He chose NOT to make it about him. He made it about his team mates and his family. Definitely a sign of humility to me. Matthew 23:12 -"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Keep grinding Kevin. I'm happy for you. Well deserved my good man.