Golden State + Talent Attraction

<![CDATA[I have heard all season long, particularly during the playoffs about how “unfair” it is that Golden State has assembled such a great team. Constantly reading and hearing about how unjust it is to the rest of the league. I’ve heard this from a variety of people across all generations, including and maybe a little more so from millennials. Full disclosure, I embrace millennials (while most ostracize them), I’ve built a pretty stellar team full of them. My team at Protis Global is engaged and truly cares about our mission and goals, I am very proud of them.

However, back to the point at hand the continual conversations had about how unfair Golden State has made things…

How can anyone else have a chance to win?

Why even play this season?

It is not fair!

I could write a 10,000+ word blog on this topic, but we all know simplicity reigns king when putting together content. So, I will keep it concise and to my point.

Golden State is greatness no doubt, they play as a team. The Cleveland Cavaliers play isolation (1:1) basketball (as does most of the league). Golden State plays as the game was invented, Dr. Naismith would be proud—they share the ball, communicate, move unselfishly, sacrifice individually. A great example of this is Stephen Curry, a two-time NBA MVP who has taken a back seat to Kevin Durant. Golden State competes and plays defense which is all intelligence and putting in the effort. They simply do not accept losing— they play #EveryDamnDay like it is Day One. Another notable example of this is the fact that there have been other “super teams” but they have lost while these guys continually win. Golden State won 73 games last year, an NBA record and yet, still went out and recruited the 2nd best player in the world.

Now let’s compare the rosters of just the two finalists (that many consider is so “unfair”):

What could we as leaders learn from this?

Golden State selected people based on their own scouting then “COACHED” them to be better. They drafted and were patient and developed their talent.  They were not satisfied with breaking an NBA record, they saw an opportunity to be truly great so they went out and won the free agent battle for Kevin Durant and then properly assimilated him into the lineup.

Then they went out and proved their mettle and set another NBA record in the playoffs going 16-1 and winning the Championship. They are greatness at its very best. Yet, people say it is unfair…

Unfair that they drafted right?

Unfair they coached up lower level draft picks and developed players?

Unfair they recruited an “A” player to their team?

Nothing is given, although there are many that want things given vs being smart and working for it.

It is just unfair… I can’t help but laugh out loud.

Why? Is this not what leaders of companies want for their team?

How does this relate to executive search and what I consider “talent attraction”?

I think it is self-evident that companies need to have the desire to be great, and then act upon it. We talk to so many leaders that are ok with B+ players and do not want to sacrifice the money and effort to win “A” players or worse they don’t think they can win “A” players. Leaders who have broken processes, or poor “brand” equity, etc. This is changing (whether you like it or not) – Amazon will see to that. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from Jeff Bezos 2016 Letter to Shareholders, regarding always acting like a Day One company.

Don’t believe his quote? I ask you take a look at the S&P today vs just 15 years ago. Many are gone because they did not stay Day One.

So many companies come to Protis Global wanting our unique process to deliver talent and yet, they want us at the same price as many transactional firms. Your team is the most important resource and tool for the future of your organization, and if you do not proactively invest in it you will reactively spend on it which in my experience always ends up being much more expensive. Selecting an inferior firm versus hiring Protis Global or any other firm that takes full ownership of deliverables to you will cost you.

We witness companies all the time trying to cut costs and rely on expensive VMS’s that are not leveraged to be efficient models to build their teams. Ultimately, it is a more transactional and reactive way to build a team, and it shows whether instantly or through time and worst of all it costs.

On the other hand, you can proactively assess your team, (even if you are winning) and look to sign the best free agent, always willing to push forward and never settle. Never allowing even the consideration that your company has “arrived”. Allowing that sentiment to trickle into your organization is allowing a Day Two approach to your business. Once you do that…you will be like the many companies that were on the S&P only 15 years ago and are gone today.]]>

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