Leadership Live: Adam Silver Takes the Mantle via LinkedIn on 4-30-14

Less than 90 days into his official capacity as the 5 Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Adam Silver has made his mark on the league. While in his first 100 days of office; he walked along side former league icon David Stern for 2 years as the named successor. An employee of the NBA for 22 years Adam Silver has built his social capital within the league and it was placed on the line on April 29, 2014.

The Urgency:

The NBA and its management team could only have one voice. Adam Silver used the time he had to display due process, communication within his constituent bases, reflection on his own experience, and to observe the climate that Donald Sterling’s remarks had awaken.

Leaders must be slow to anger and thoughtfully execute with great fervor. One could imagine how the actual conversations unfolded with current players, civic leaders, owners, and Sterling himself. Silver and his team moved through what must of seemed like an extremely long 72 hour period to collect enough support to take a stand that would be received well enough to not upset the over $5 billion dollar league that is only two years removed from a labor stoppage.

The Language:

Known as a “nice guy” Adam Silver understood that his style was in contrast with his predecessor. His like-able personality allowed him a period of trust within his league to man the ship that, but that period of peace was rocked as the TMZ report was published.

Silver delivered the news his constituents needed to hear in order to have faith in him as a leader. With a straight face and resounding pitch, Adam Silver took his place as the commissioner of the NBA:

Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association

with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or

practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in

any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.

The high road was assumed the moment Silver took charge of what’s to come with the “I am.” By making the decision personal Silver says to the league and all of its supporters that the buck stops with him. Players, coaches, owners, and sponsors all needed to hear this today.

The Reaction:

The penalty Adam Silver rendered in this matter is considered the most severe penalty an executive/front office member has received in over 40 years for a non-completion related offense (Harsh Penalties for Sports Owners). The lifetime ban in most cases met the expectations of many casual fans and the imposed sale of the team (pending) proved to go above and beyond in the court of public opinion. As a leader he was praised as a fair, honest, intelligent steward of his organization. Silver was able to earn the ear of the consumer as well as the boardroom. Towards the conclusion of his press conference he encouraged sponsors to return to their agreements with the team. The ability to understand the impact of each constituent group involved within his market, Silver left no stone unturned in his remarks.

For years to come we will highlight the leadership in action from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on April 292014. When given a deplorable set of circumstances to make sense of in our now 24 hour news cycle with the nation watching, how would your favorite leader measure up? The world we live in has plenty of issues to deal with, but on this day we watched someone step into the spotlight and throw everything into the fire. As a leader in my own right, I am encouraged for tomorrow.

Photo: http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/espnradiostations/la/images/sterling_576.jpg&w=608&h=342

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