Life comes in waves and sometimes your ready for the next wave and sometimes your still struggling with the last one. That’s why I LOVE the NBA playoffs. I see players unleashing their hero and taming their inner villain and on a nightly basis. I LOVE watching them push their leadership limits and leveraging the strengths of their teammates to WIN the game.

Watching others go big or go home is refreshing. Besides giving me a break from my own stresses, I get to watch how others handle their STRESS on the big stage.

I’ve always wondered….Why to some players shine while others fade away? Does Lebron James become Michael Jordan and carry the team or does he try and prove that TEAMWORK wins Championships?

My “Hero Habits” (keynote) teaches us that we have two people who do battle inside of us each day, the hero and the villain. The one we BELIEVE most will be victorious!

Whether in the NBA, on the corporate stage or in our head, our hero and villain are hard at work trying to motivate us to carry out their actions.

NBA players CRUMBLE when they believe their inner villain.

Their villainous voice pushes them to overuse their strengths until they become weaknesses. That villainous voice wants to take a bad shot instead of passing to a teammate. The villain says, “We are too far behind to come back. You don’t need to sprint back down the court or hustle for that loose ball. You should just give up and prepare for the next game.”

NBA players THRIVE when they believe their inner hero.

The hero voice drives them to maximize their strengths and lead to the strengths/limitations of their teammates. The hero RECOGNIZES the good in others, takes time to REFLECT on what is working and what is not, COMMITSto being All-In and is fully PRESENT to BE Here… The hero says, “Just focus on THIS basket. THESE next two points. THIS next stop. We are so close… Keep going!”

One hero can win a game, but it takes a team of heroes to win a championship…

Heroes are defined by their HABITS, while villains have VICES that hold them back.

Click below to learn more about each hero and their villainous counterpart.

Captain Courageous vs. The Storm

Recognition Man vs. Energy Vampire

Zen Ninja vs. Craven

The Professor vs. Dr Doubtful

Each of these hero/villains represents the four basic personality types. When we overuse our strengths and stop being aware of the impact of our efforts, we tip into the villain. Additional responsibilities, lack of sleep, physical pain and compressed deadlines all can trigger our villain and the villainous vices that focus our attention on the wrong things. We pull away and try to do it all ourselves and it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. It may give you instant results, but it’s not sustainable in the long term…

Hero Nugget:

Remember, the perfect environment for one hero creates the exact opposite environment for an opposing hero, so awareness is the KEY to being a hero and helping create the ENVIRONMENT for your team to THRIVE to become a team of heroes…

Michael is a Motivational Speaker, Culture Guru and Team Coach who leverages leadership stories from World Record Skydivers, World Champion Martial Artists and the Best of the Best Corporate Heroes to highlight leadership principles across boundaries…

Check out his keynotes @