The Finals start in a few hours and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are making history. This is the first time the same 2 franchises are playing each other for 3 straight years. In my typical fashion, I take a look at sports and find a parallel between that and business and extract certain lessons that entrepreneurs could learn from both these franchises.
- Never stop innovating and improving – The great companies and business are constantly trying to evolve and improve. That could mean bring on more talent and trying out different ideas. The Cavaliers and Warriors have both shown this. The Warriors after having the most wins in playoff history decided to add Kevin Durant to the mix to take an elite team and make it a superpower. Meanwhile Cleveland after winning the championship last year, have the leagues highest payroll. They kept talent and even added a few pieces to complement their already strong team.
- Team. Team. Team. – The greatest leaders in business have the foresight to put together strong teams. This includes recognizing strengths and weakness and putting together those complimentary pieces. The Golden State Warriors have done a phenomenal job of this from the top of the organization and down the line. They all have sacrificed for the greater goal. The best and most successful franchises are able to build a strong culture and preach the importance of the team. For the Cavaliers much of the same has been done, Kyrie Irving is incredibly talented and could average 30 points per game and so could LeBron and so could Kevin Love but they all sacrifice for the greater good of the team.
- Remember the goal. – Part of building a strong culture is remembering what it takes to be great and accomplish the goal. Entrepreneurs should also remember this because there are often distractions that take people away from the ultimate goal. Once that is articulated, it becomes important to focus and remember that goal. Both the Cavaliers and the Warriors have done a great job of remembering the goal is to win the championship. Understanding the process and going through the ups and downs of the NBA Season and having spats like Draymond Green and Kevin Durant earlier this year are part of the process to become champions.
There's a lot to take away from each of these franchises on how to be successful. There's a parallel between sports and business and as I learned in school, when you peel back the onion any sports franchise, it runs just like a business.
PS: My prediction is Warriors in 6 (I hope 7).