In 2010, the Miami Heat tried to build a dream team
around Lebron James and two other stars.
And Lebron promised that they would win some championships.
“Lebron, tell us about that.”
“不是两个 不是三个 不是四个
“Not two, not three, not four…
不是五个 不是六个 不是七个……”
…not five, not six, not seven…”
But they struggled to even win close games in the regular season.
So the next year, instead of picking up another star,
they added Shane Battier.
And Shane told me people were not impressed.
“And people looked at my limitations,
而且说 ‘呃 巴蒂尔没有运动能力’
and said, ‘Oh, Battier’s not athletic.’
And he doesn’t run pick and roll, he can’t really dribble.”
But here’s the weird thing,
when Shane was on the court,
everyone of his team’s was statistically more likely to win.
He ended up becoming a key contributor to the Heat’s back to back championships.
So I asked Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, to explain it.
“So he wasn’t athletic enough to stop Kobe Bryant,
but he was smart enough and kind of canny enough to force Kobe Bryant
to places on the floor where he was less efficient shooter.
So he would do all these things that are very valuable,
that no star would bother to do.”
Lots of stars means lots of egos.
And lots of egos means infighting.
In a team, you could actually have too much talent.
Look at the evidence from soccer.
Teams with the mix of stars and role players
actually win more games in World Cup qualifying matches.
We see the same pattern in NBA basketball.
You are actually better off with two stars on the court than four.
And the same is true in Wall Street teams.
The secret ingredient that role players bring is humility.
But we’ve all been in situations where we might be worried about being too humble.
Like in a job interview.
“用三个词形容一下自己” — “懒”
“Decribe yourself in three words””Lazy”
We also counsel leaders not to be too humble.
But what does the data actually show?
Let’s compare humble leaders with narcissistic leaders.
We’ve done this in American and Chinese companies.
And lo and behold, it turns out
that humble leaders are significantly more effective.
Their employees are more productive and more innovative.
But, there’s a third kind of leader that gets even better results.
And that would be called a humble narcissist.
How can you be humble and narcissistic?
They sound like opposites.
But they’re not.
Because narcissism is about believing that you’re special.
And humility is about recognizing that you are fallible.
Now for the narcissists in the room,
and your spouses know who you are,
this is not an excuse.
My point is just that
humility and confidence can actually go hand and hand.
You can have both.
Because one of the Latin roots of humility is actually about being grounded.
It means from the Earth.
And that kind of sensibility is what Shane Battier brought to the Miami Heat.
He recognized his limitations.
He looked for ways to improve his game,
like studying stats on opposing players.
And one day he turned to Lebron and he said,
“Hey, when you guard Kevin Durant,
make him shoot over his left shoulder.”
“And after that, every now and then he’d say,
“嘿 蝙蝠侠 你觉得这个人应该怎么对付？”
‘Hey batman, you know, what you got on this guy?’
There’s not much you can teach Lebron James, the best player in the world today.
But I could think I made him a little bit better with some arcane math.”
Humility is underrated.
It gets a bad rap, it sounds like a sign of weakness.
But in the best teams with the best leaders, it’s actually a source of strength.
It keeps us from resting on our laurels
because we know that excellence is not about believing that you’re the best.
It’s actually about always striving to get better.