The Ordinary Rules of Personal Behavior

Even if you are not a fan of the NBA, you likely know that LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers next season. All forms of media were abuzz with speculation prior to the announcement and stayed active dissecting LeBron's decision after it was published in the form of a simple letter. 

Perhaps no forum was more active than social media. It was there I found the following tweet from sports analyst Demond Howard, "Lessons learned from Cavs owner: 1. Never write a knee-jerk emotional letter. 2. No matter how much $ you have, DO NOT burn bridges."

Howard's tweet was written in the days before LeBron announced his return to Cleveland, and assumed, correctly, that the emotional tirade Dan Gilbert published 4 years ago would weigh on LeBron's mind as he considered his options. But, what Howard's tweet failed to acknowledge is that bridges can be burned from both sides, and LeBron had his own embarrassing display recorded for all time.  

All of this reminds me of an observation by Peter Drucker, "Men and women do not acquire exemption from ordinary rules of personal behavior because of their work or job." And I would  add money, talent, beauty, position, title, and numerous other characteristics we use to separate ourselves from each other.  

In the end, the reunion of LeBron and the Cavs was solidified when Dan Gilbert and LeBron James sat down, face-to-face and made the personal apologies that were necessary four years ago when they both acted as if their status exempted them from acting by the ordinary rules of personal behavior. They finally got it right, and that is my favorite part of this well-publicized return.