LeBron James Understands the Importance of a Chief Operating Officer

LeBron is called King James for a reason, but for our purposes let’s call him CEO James.

CEO James runs the Cavaliers — and there’s no doubt about that. His chief operating officer is the head coach, Tyronn Lue. (This isn’t the case on every NBA team but it is in Cleveland.)

The COO is a misunderstood and underutilized position at most businesses, large and small. But the dynamic between James and Lue illustrates why a CEO needs a COO.

As the Cavs rumble toward the playoffs, it’s Lue who is helping CEO James stay focused. Lue also takes LeBron to task when needed — and every leader needs that.

After a recent disheartening loss, Lue was upset that LeBron had fraternized at halftime with a good friend on the other team.

“We talked about it,” Lue told Lue declined to get into the specifics but said, “LeBron is the leader of this team. We had a great talk, and that’s it.”

Lue described LeBron’s performance since their conversation as “remarkable” while LeBron credited it for making him realize how much more he has to do to lift his team into the post-season.

Who’s going to help you do that for your business? If CEO James needs that kind of assist from a COO to stay on top, everyone does.


Image: Scott Meivogel /