Earlier this year, before we knew that the Golden State Warriors were going to set the NBA record for most wins in a season, they just seemed different than the other teams in the league. And not just because no other team could beat them. Unlike most teams that spend the first few weeks and months of the season stumbling along, figuring out their chemistry, experimenting with line-ups and strategies, the Warriors came out of the gate playing at an entirely different level than everyone else. They were smooth, relaxed, confident, and in each game, whether they had a big lead or small, they simply never seemed worried. Moreover, unlike most teams, they looked like they were having fun. Yes, fun. You could see it on their faces. Not only of the players, but the coaches, too. And the fans, also. There was something different in the air during a Warriors game. No screaming coaches, no panicked players, no drama. This team was actually enjoying playing the game.
On the day when the Warriors, the reigning NBA champions, won a record-setting 16th straight game, coach Steve Kerr, who, at the time, was actually taking time off due to recent surgery, addressed his team and reminded them of their “four core principles.” What were those principles? Shooting, passing, rebounding and defense? Nope. At the beginning of the season in which the pressure was on for the Warriors to defend their championship and prove to the world that it was no fluke that this undersized team was the best in the league, Kerr defined their core principles as joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition.
Let those four words sink in: Joy. Mindfulness. Compassion. Competition.
Now, think about the core principles of your organization. Think about what your bosses harp on or what typical business leaders preach to their teams – things like profitability, productivity, prospect pipelines…you get the picture. Perhaps we should take a lesson from the best basketball team in the world. Maybe we should elevate the conversation with our teams, too. What would happen in your organization if you asked them to focus this week on compassion? Or mindfulness? Or joy? At the very least, you will get their attention and get them thinking. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll become the best team in your league.