In this article, I discuss the “X Factor” contestant competition. To begin, I outlined the characteristics of the most effective counsellors I’ve encountered. There are several factors at play here, including thinking differently, a concentration on listening rather than speaking, and an emphasis on the prospect’s agenda rather than one’s own.

But there’s more: the X factor. It’s something that can’t be seen or touched. It’s difficult for me to put into words. It’s something I’m aware of, though.

The X-factor advisers often approach me for advice on how to mimic their style. What a tricky question.

I recently discovered it from an unexpected source: Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner.

An untimely death

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Michael H. Goldberg, a close friend of mine, died on January 20, 2017. Over the course of more than three decades, he served as the executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA). As a human being, he was an inspiration to everyone who met him. A full obituary is available in The New York Times.

The bow tie that has become synonymous with Michael could never be seen anywhere else. His appearance wasn’t what made him remarkable, but the bow tie added an extra layer of distinction.

Before he died, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just six months to live. That’s when Commissioner Silver and the National Basketball Coaches Association took action.

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Extraordinary response

Adam Silver Illness

Under Rick Carlisle’s leadership, the NBA announced the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award as soon as it was possible. Based on a vote of other coaches, it will be awarded to the NBA’s most successful head coach (both on and off the court). When Michael learnt of this honour, he was overcome with emotion.

The Basketball Hall of Fame then announced that he will receive the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement award.

As a tribute to Michael, some of the coaches donned bow ties throughout their games.

Mr Silver and Mr Carlisle weren’t done yet, despite these exceptional acts of kindness.

A memorial service

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A memorial ceremony was held for Michael after his death without any fanfare. This was an unusual occurrence. The event was attended by more than 400 people. The preparations were painstaking, and no cost was spared. Attendees included NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Dennis Carlisle. Alpert hosted. The NBA put created a video tribute to Michael Jordan, chronicling his career and personal life. The event was documented in order to preserve it for the family’s future generations.

A remarkable and astonishing event had a place.

Linda, Michael’s widow, informed me about the many additional thoughtful gestures the NBA and Mr Carlisle made in the wake of Michael’s death. They may have done other things in his honour, but we’ll never know for sure.

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The X factor

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Here’s what’s so extraordinary. Michael was not employed by the NBA in any capacity. His support for the Coaches Association frequently clashed with the NBA’s interests. Thoughtfulness on the part of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver served no one, not even him.

In showing his appreciation for Michael’s service, Commissioner Silver exhibited kindness, compassion, decency, and generosity. He and Rick Carlisle are two of the most remarkable persons I’ve ever met.

They are endowed with a special quality known as the X factor.

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