The Shortcut To Team Success…

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The Golden State Warriors have been dominant in the NBA over the last 5+ years. 

Since 2015, they’ve won 3 championships, lost twice in the Final round, and lost one season to a rash of injuries. No team has come close to replicating their recent success. 

One key to so much winning is talent. You’ve heard of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant even if you don’t watch basketball. The motivational speakers lied to you: Hard work DOES NOT beat talent. Without talent, you won’t even be in the damn game, so you can’t win. The Warriors of the last 5+ years have a lot of talent. 

The real key, though, is not just having who players are better than everyone else. Other teams have great players who are just as good (if not better  — you’ve heard of LeBron). The key is that every player on these Warriors teams are in their perfect roles. 

Stephen Curry is the star and most popular player on the team. Everyone else on the Warriors embraces this truth (<—- THIS is key). 

Klay Thompson is a star in his own role who isn’t quite so good as to carry a team on his own, but is perfectly qualified for what the Warriors ask of him. Klay has expressed how he values winning with the Warriors over the additional personal shine he would get if he were to go to another team, be the star, and have them build around him. 

Draymond Green is the do-everything guy, the rare All-Star player whose value isn’t tied to how many points he scores. Draymond does all the dirty work, takes on the tough defensive assignments, and doesn’t care how many shot attempts he gets. Steph Curry scored 62 points in 36 minutes in a game in early January. In that same game, Draymond had 1 point on 2 shot attempts in 27 minutes.  

Kevin Durant (now playing in Brooklyn) was good enough to join this mix and make the team better without taking anything away from what any of the other guys did. 

The Warriors are good because of talent. They WIN because every player is in his perfect role. None of them is asked to do more nor less than what they’re capable of doing. That’s why they’re great. 

When you have people on your team who want to do more or less than their current role, it’s only a matter of time before they gripe about wanting more, or crumble under the weight of being asked to do too much. 

My favorite Jay-Z Album is his 1998 Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. Jay-Z himself described his process on that album by saying he felt like he put everyone — himself, the featured artists, the producers — in their perfect zone to do what they did best. Nothing was forced. 

The Vol. 2 album catapulted Jay-Z from “Rap Star” to “Superstar.” 

Here’s the key to building your perfect team: Gather talent, of course. But everyone must be in their right space. Doing what they do best, no more and no less. 

Listen to the MasterClass episode on this, #1702: “Want Team Success? Have Everyone In The Right Role” here: