How the Golden State Warriors Represent the Mental Game (Part 2)

Competitive Drive at the Highest Level: Collaboration

Last article set the scene for the culture of the Warriors culture, selflessness, and how their willingness to push outside the comfort zone lead to great results.

Now lets took a look at their competitive drive to do whatever it takes to win.

It was 2014 when Steve Kerr’s special assistant, Nick U’ren, suggested that Andre Iguodala start in place of Bogut in the NBA finals, that decision proved to be the beginning of “The Death Lineup”.

Front office staff, coaches, and players all exemplify a collaborative effort in their performance year in and year out.

From ESPNs Kevin Arnovitz article: “Decisions are made collaboratively,” Kerr said. “There’s a ton of discussion that goes into what we’re going to do. Any decision is discussed at length. It’s healthy, and we get a lot of different points of view.”

There are leaders in the room, yet everyone has a voice. It’s a culture of empowerment that continues to develop within, encourage unique thinking, while getting successful results.

Kevin Durant coming over to Golden State was obviously unpopular to NBA fans and franchises outside of the Warriors organization. The popular move would have been to stay comfortable in OKC where the majority would have respected the decision. The popular move would have been to go away from intuition and to keep pleasing others. Sometimes, the best move is the one for yourself, the move that aligns with your values and lifestyle, where your intuition is screaming that you are taking the right action. It may be uncomfortable, it may not be popular with many people, but the popular choice isn’t always the right choice.

Everyone has their own definitions of being competitive, but if you are truly down to win, you’ll put everything to the side and be ruthless about taking the right action, no matter what the backlash may be.

The rest of the team embodies this type of competitive drive, David West said it best “Just put your mind to it. Take your ego out of it. Put your ego in the back room somewhere, man, and figure out a way to be a part of something special.”

For the players side, it starts with the selflessness of Stephen Curry, a two time MVP and champion who never once complained about his contract or bringing on another star like Kevin Durant. It’s always about the group and the will to keep improving and evolving through collaboration.

Competition at the highest level is never about the opponent, it’s about competing against yourself and collaborating with challenges and obstacles to help you grow. A willingness to win takes ruthless action and a high level of self awareness, when you don’t stop yourself, you cannot be stopped.