The Blog of Jake Kelfer
I spent the past three weeks in Las Vegas working with NBA Summer League. If you’ve ever been to Vegas, you know a weekend can be a long time. Now, imagine being there for 3 weeks.
You start to call your hotel your home. You start to know the waitresses in the local coffee shop. You start to forget what day it is until you see the crowds in the hotel lobby or the swarm of people getting ready for a night in the club. You eat the same food over and over again in the food court.
But after three weeks, I can say…
IT WAS AWESOME!
Not in the way most of you are thinking. I wasn’t there to party and spend 3 weeks on vacation. I was there to work, to learn, to grow, to elevate, and to have fun.
So rather than give you an in depth breakdown of the entire trip, here are 3 of my big takeaways.
NBA Summer League happens once a year in Las Vegas and it features the stars of tomorrow often comprised of that year’s lottery picks and second year players looking to make a name for themselves.
As part of a team of over 150 people, I set out to take my game to the next level, both as a leader and as a learner.
While I was there, I was challenged physically, emotionally, and mentally. The 100 degree heat mixed with the 16+ hour work days definitely took a toll on me. Yet, throughout it all, I found ways to elevate my game each and every day.
We had goals to achieve, people to motivate, and fans to excite, and no matter how I felt, I was going to do my best to leave everyone I encountered better than when they first arrived.
1. When you fully commit to a goal, you can achieve incredible things.
I set a goal to do 4,000 pushups while I was in Vegas. That may or may not seem like a huge amount to you, but to me that was an ambitious goal. At first it was easy but as things came up (going out, longer office days, exhaustion, etc.), things became more challenging. The longer we were there, the busier I became challenging me to find more time throughout the day to complete my pushups. I would get up at 5:30 to bang out the first 100 of the day or I’d stay awake until midnight completing the last 100 of the day.
One of the best strategies I had, however, was break the pushups up into smaller sets more frequently throughout the day. Another thing that kept me going was relying on the support from my friends and colleagues who wanted to see me reach my goal. I made it vocal which added another layer of accountability especially as we approached the deadline. During our final night in Vegas, over 10 people joined me as I completed the last 20 of my 4,000 pushups.
2. As a leader, you have to understand the people you lead.
Everyone responds differently to different types of leadership. It’s your job as a leader to make the adjustments necessary to create the highest performance you can. Leadership is not just a title; it's a privilege and a responsibility.
While it’s great to have your style of leadership, I think it’s very important as a leader to understand how your team responds best. Some people respond best to an iron fist while others need to be encouraged more often.
Someone I look up to is Sergio Millas. I’ve talked about him before as he’s a mentor of mine. He is also one of the core people of the Summer League management team and throughout the 3 weeks, he displayed incredible leadership. He helped his teammates succeed professionally and personally, and he motivated the team of 150+ to get #bettereveryday. He took the time to learn where each person could improve and used that to bring out the best in each person. He relied on his team and encouraged people to excel.
3. Together, you can achieve more than alone.
The amount of communication, let alone the amount of people it takes to pull off an event like NBA Summer League is unreal. After seeing Albert Hall, one of the cofounders of NBA Summer League and the President of HallPass Media, lead our team, I was amazed at everything we accomplished.
He reminded me that in business and life, we need other people. If we put people in a position to succeed, people will often impress you.
From the thousands of graphics created to the digital marketing efforts to the video team to the interns and staff, every project was elevated when people worked together ultimately leading to an incredible and record setting year of NBA Summer League.
I say this a lot when I speak and in Elevate Your Network, but WE is always greater than ME.
The more we worked together and supported each other, the more we were able to achieve.
BONUS: The more you give, the more you get.
The more energy you give off, the more energy you have.
The more you serve, the better you feel.
The more you help others, the more others will help you.
The more you focus and take action on achieving goals, the easier they become to achieve.
Elevate in Action:
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.