Lessons From Dwyane: Caring Matters

Dwyane Wade’s retirement celebration was powerful. He is such a compelling athlete, teammate, husband, father—a leader who makes an impact in the community.

Pro sports can seem so cookie-cutter and impersonal. Contracts, endorsements, collective bargaining.

Business often is seen as less and less personal these days. Social media, artificial intelligence, chatbots and the like make our business interactions increasingly digital and decreasingly human. But businesses are built and run by people, serving people, and the “people stuff” matters more than ever.

Some of the things that made us successful in the past still matter. They still work. As Wade demonstrated, people need to want to work with you—as your team or as your customer/fan. It’s emotional. Purpose and passion motivate better performance by every measure—more than pay, more than title, more than anything.

When we talk about customer loyalty, the data shows it’s disproportionately because the customer experience is distinctive and positive. Not price. Not even quality of product. Experience is emotional.  Caring is emotional intelligence in action.

Years ago, author and organizational consultant Meg Wheatley crafted a model for organizational success that is simple and compelling:

We care for ourselves.

We care about each other.

We care about “this place.”

All of these need to be in balance.

When we talk about caring for ourselves, self-care matters. If we are not happy and healthy, we won’t produce, manage or lead effectively. And if we are overly self-caring, we become selfish and perhaps narcissistic as a leader.  Our job is to care for ourselves for ourselves, and to set an example. Wade did that. He changed his diet. He changed his discipline. He got his life in order. It made him the man he is today.

Great teams, like the Heat, care about each other as people. They know the joys and rewards that matter to their teammates, as well as their fears, pains and doubts. They know strengths and weaknesses, and they play as purposeful and passionately successful teams.

Look around your business. Are there signs of caring for the place? Do people care about your mission? How passionately involved are they?

How well do you care for yourself?

How well do your people care about each other?

How clearly does your organization care about “this place?”

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.