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Jeremy Lin’s remarkable rise from obscurity to star point guard for the New York Knicks has been well documented.  Even with his recent season ending knee surgery, Lin’s impact over the past few months has few precedents.

But his story is not about the failure by NBA teams to recognize Lin’s potential; rather it’s about three key traits that enabled Lin to elevate his play far beyond what anyone in the basketball world expected.  And those traits apply to advisors just as much as they do to NBA stars.

The Linsanity story is a classic rags to riches tale … he wasn’t recruited by any university out of high school, was undrafted two years ago out of Harvard and cut by two NBA teams.

And then on February 4 he burst out of nowhere with a 25-point explosion as point guard for the Knicks and led the Knicks to a remarkable turnaround..  

A recent New York Times article explained why every scout on every NBA team overlooked Lin’s ability and missed him in the draft.  Quite simply, the Jeremy Lin who i starred for the Knicks this season  is entirely different from the Jeremy Lin who graduated from Harvard two years ago.

Three keys to success

The Times piece argued that Lin succeeded through “determination, self-belief, perseverance and hard work.”  In the two last two years, he completely reworked his shot, dramatically increased his strength, radically improved his court vision and added a remarkable 3.5 inches to his vertical leap.

Let’s take a look at the three elements that turned Lin into a star:

  1. Conviction, confidence and determination:

    Lin refused to be discouraged.  Even as he saw classmates prosper on Wall Street, he persisted through disappointments and setbacks. He had a “refuse to lose” mentality and absolute certainty in his ability to make it in the NBA that carried him through the frustration and disappointment of getting cut.

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