“I Failed as a Leader”

“I Failed as a Leader”


On October 5, Draymond Green punched his teammate, Jordan Poole, during practice. On Saturday, Draymond Green addressed the media.  He was apologetic, he was introspective and he was honest.  “I am a very flawed human being,” Green said. “I know those flaws better than anyone …  I failed as a leader. I failed as a man.”

He apologized. “I apologized for my actions on Wednesday. For that, I have apologized to my team, I have apologized to Jordan. I have apologized to this organization. There is a huge embarrassment that comes from that. I have to deal with that embarrassment and our team has to deal with that.  In 10 days, there will be a ceremony where we will be presented our championship rings, and on a night that should be filled with celebration and love, there will also be a dark cloud in the room, and I caused that.”

Draymond went on to say that he and the team have decided that it is best if Draymond steps away from the team for a bit of time. It’s kind of a self-imposed penalty. He will miss most of the pre-season.  If the team agrees, he will return for the start of the season. Draymond also talked at length about how he will work hard to regain the trust of his teammates.

Joe’s Perspective: Fights break out at all levels of sports. Emotions can get high and even the best of teammates can rub each other the wrong way. Sometimes that results in a teammate losing his/her cool and lashing out. This could happen on your team someday and it happened here. Coach Steve Kerr estimated that in 32 years of basketball, he has probably witnessed 20 fights (including one that he was involved in). This is not to downplay or excuse what happened.  Draymond knows what he did was wrong. Heck, anyone who watched the video knows that he was wrong.

However, this week is focused on leadership. Draymond is a team leader. In the moment, he failed as a leader. However, he also succeeded as a leader in his actions thereafter. You see, no one expects perfection. We all have flaws. Draymond’s flaw is his temper. With that being said, a leader must acknowledge those flaws, own those flaws and apologize after episodes like this. Next, a good leader will actively try to repair the problem. In this case, Draymond has acknowledged that he will work to regain the trust of his teammates. It would be easy to apologize and act like something never happened. That would be comfortable. That would make it easy on him. However, something did happen, and it feels like a “dark cloud.” By continuing to regain the trust of his teammates, he is helping everyone move forward. My guess is that his continued efforts to rebuild the trust will produce a stronger team in the long run.

Your Turn: What lessons do you learn from this story?

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  1. I learned that as a leader when you make mistakes, you have to acknowledge what you did wrong and what you will do to fix it.

  2. We all make mistakes. Even important people such as leaders can make mistakes as well. We all need to forgive people if they wish for an apology. Everyone is human and always makes mistakes.

  3. Everyone gets angry even leaders, but it’s how you react with that anger that either improves your leadership and your team or worsens it

  4. That even the best of us our emotions can get to us and that can lead to unwanted consequences. As people we should be able to control our emotions a lot more than to the point to cause physical harm to another human

  5. Leading is uncomfortable. To be a great leader you have to enforce things because they are the right thing. Draymond lost control of his emotions but held himself to a standard

  6. Lesson I have learned from this story are the ability to know when your actions are wrong and how to overcome them for the future. Knowing when you are wrong is a big step in the right direction and being able to fix those mistakes in the future can be beneficial.

  7. Everyone has flaws even leaders and after an incident you have to regain trust and teamates and listen to them even if you don’t agree or don’t like them.

  8. This story teaches me that you should always own up for your actions and also keep in mind that everyone is going through something and to keep teammates and friends accountable.

  9. I learned from this story so you need to be a good respectful team mate. Aggressive actions is never the way. Always if something bad does happen, take responsibility and make the wrong things better.

  10. To think about your actions before you do them and to think of the repercussions that might happen if you make a bad decision and how it will affect your life long term.

  11. It’s ok to make mistake we are all human, owning up to thoughs mistakes and realizing how important it is for you to not make thoughs mistake you’ve made allows you to not only become better as athletes but a better person in general.

  12. You learn that your actions have consequences because of ignorance or lack of control, and it can cause tension/damage between your teammates.

  13. I learned that even if we have flaws and they are prevelent to others, we need to recognize them ourselfs and be able to be humble

  14. As a leader you need to know your flaws. If one of your flaws overcome you, you need to acknowledge it and apologize.

  15. I learned that physical violence is not the way to go. I also learned that it’s good to reflect on your actions and own up to what you did

  16. Leaders make mistakes, we’re all human, it happens, but a great leader won’t just pretend like it didn’t happen and move on. They will pick up the pieces and put the team back together how they should be!

  17. I believe that dray let his emotions get the best of him which should never happen on or off the court and even though he was fully in the wrong Jordan still accepted the apology and they play together to this day.

  18. The lesson I learn from this story not all leaders are perfect and most people expect leaders to be perfect which can affect all leaders to be perfect.

  19. him taking responsibility for his actions are very important and knowing he is embarrassed from his actions is a good thing for him to admit. he imagined himself in jordan’s position and felt sorry for how he treated him and for a person that’s not always an easy thing to do. it shows how mature and sorry he really is.

  20. Don’t punch your teammates. Be a good leader or role model for others! If you wouldn’t like your teammate to punch you or hurt you, whether it be mentally or physically, then don’t hurt others. Always be the person someone looks up to and try your best to be the best example you can.

  21. i learned that we all have flaws, and we have to own up to them when they come out. pretending like it never happened does not earn you respect and you will have a harder time controlling when those flaws come out.

  22. I like to reread this story time and time again just because it brings on such an honest communications and what goes on behind the wins.

  23. I learned that everyone commits mistakes because sometimes the emotions get the best of us but this doesn’t ever make it acceptable. Your anger is something you definitely have to work on and other flaws that you may present. But if we correct those flaws and try to form into a better teammate/ person you can avoid bad terms between teammates.

  24. Some of the lessons I learned from this story were that no one is perfect and things will always happen it’s just how you come
    back after the problem. The start to solving is apologizing and admitting where you’re wrong.

  25. I have learned that it is okay to make mistakes. Everyone is human. It is how we handle and address our mistakes that makes us a great leader.