According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of a leader is a person who leads. Throughout history, the world has been blessed to have many great leaders including Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela to Winston Churchill, and many more. These exceptional human beings have done remarkable things which have allowed their legend to live on. Today we are going to look at another amazing leader but in a different realm, this leader understood the importance of self-leadership and taking responsibility for his successes and failures. The leader we are going to be focusing on today is former NBA superstar and TV personality Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaquille commonly known as Shaq is a 4-time NBA champion and one of the most dominant big men in NBA history. But what many people don’t know about Shaq is that he is an amazing businessman. Shaquille is worth more now through his investments and businesses than he was during his whole NBA career. Here are just some of the businesses that Shaquille owns; 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs. The way he became a very successful businessman was through hard lessons. Early in Shaq’s NBA career, he secured a 1 million dollars endorsement deal and he spent the whole 1 million dollars in ONE day. He bought 3 cars for over 500 thousand dollars and his mom a house, all these purchases ended up putting him 80 thousand dollars in debt. Shaquille made the mistake of not understanding that he had to pay taxes. He thought once he was given one million dollars that meant he had one million dollars. Shaq had to learn that after taxes you really only have 700 thousand. Shaq was embarrassed and vowed not to make the same mistake again. What did he do to right his wrong, Shaq ended up going back to school to get a master’s degree in business administration. He wanted to make sure that he never became a broke athlete and he acknowledge upgrading his education was the solution.
Shaquille allowed his mistakes to empower himself to be a better person and leader. He recognized that he didn’t have the knowledge to handle his own money matters. But instead of paying others to handle his money, he took it upon himself to go back to school to learn about finances. Although Shaq could have paid someone to be in charge of his financial affairs he took a leadership approach to his life and has multiplied his expertise, wealth, and success.
So today we ask you, what areas in your life do you need to take greater responsibility in to become a better self-leader?