And the word you most want to hear when describing a leader...

michael beckerman, the news funnel, second time around blog


There are many, many great speeches by leaders that have inspired me. The Steve Jobs commencement speech is one that I love in particular. But, more often than not, these awesome speeches are delivered by people who have achieved great things and typically revolve around themselves. The word "I" appears frequently. Not to mention, they are also written by their "handlers" most of the time.

Then, yesterday, I saw this speech and had to immediately show it to my kids (who are 6 and 8 years old). I told them that what Kevin Durant did is what a true leader does. It really hit home for me. Not because I could relate to his journey, but because I was so inspired by his humility. Here he is, at the epitome of his career, achieving the greatest individual accolade possible and what did he do? He thanked others! It all appeared very spontaneous and straight from the heart, which made it that much more impactful.

We are living in an age of extreme narcissism. The media is dominated by fake celebrities who worship themselves. We celebrate tycoons and their outrageous ego trophies. And, to top it all off, the next generation soon to be assuming the mantle of leadership is OBSESSED with selfies. All are traits that celebrate one’s own ego and material accomplishments, and really should have no place in the world we are trying to build for the future.

Nonetheless, every once in a while we get a true breakthrough, like the speech we saw from Kevin Durant. Watch it for yourself and hopefully you too will get inspired by his extraordinary humility, as I was. Now, that is an accomplishment worthy of admiration!