Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra (pictured here) is under intense media scrutiny for admitting that there was crying in the locker room after the team’s recent loss to the Orlando Magic. Much of the tears are being credited to one of the big three, Chris Bosh. Is anyone feeling bad for the Heat – hardly.
“I do chuckle a little bit when they complain about the scrutiny they get,” said Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. “My suggestion would be if you don’t want the scrutiny, you don’t hold a championship celebration before you’ve even practiced together.”
One superstar is showing some support – Kobe Bryant. “Everybody responds differently. If guys are crying in the locker room, guys are crying in the locker room. That doesn’t mean they’re chumps. That doesn’t mean they’re soft. It doesn’t mean anything.”
So this raises the question – can leaders cry? If so, when is it acceptable?
It is OK to cry publicly when:
- There is loss of life.
- There is positive life change.
- God does something amazing.
- You have hit rock-bottom and there is genuine brokenness.
- Genuine passion and concern for children, the under-resourced, the marginalized, and the hurting.
- Times of great achievement.
- Death of a dream.
A leader can lose influence or show emotional instability when they publicly cry as a result of the following:
- Every time they speak to an audience.
- When things go bad.
- A Michael Bolton or Barry Manilow song.
- When someone resigns.
- When someone makes them angry.
- When they get their feelings hurt.
- A time of great stress.
So why is there so little sympathy and a tremendous amount of piling on because there was crying in the Miami locker room? Because when things got tough, they lost a few games, and people made fun of them, they cried.
Leaders, you must show strength and resilience when times get tough. It is during the tough times when people are looking for genuine leadership. It is a fundamental leadership truth that people only follow those who can take them to a brighter future. You must communicate that better days are ahead.
Leaders, let’s learn a lesson from Bosh and his teammates, if you can’t take “the Heat”, then you need to get out of the leadership kitchen.