What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Leadership

GSW ChampagneAll hail the Golden State Warriors, Champions of the NBA. The Dubs closed out the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of  the highest rated NBA Finals since Michael Jordan retired 17 years ago.

Despite a league best 67 wins and the third most wins of any  team in NBA history, many NBA analysts did not pick the Warriors to win the title. They said no  “jump shooting” team had ever won, and the smaller Warriors would be worn down and beaten by bigger, more traditional “low post”, “in the paint” style teams.

Not only did the Warriors prove them wrong, they did something no one is even talking about – they actually won two NBA championships this year.

That’s right, the main club won the NBA title last week, and their development team, the Santa Cruz Warriors, won the NBA “D” League back in April. They too had the best record in their league.

How could a team that hadn’t gone to the Finals in 40 years manage to win two NBA Championships in one season? A team with a rookie head coach, that had 22 losing seasons in a row, and only one All Star player in 17 years? Continue reading What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Leadership

Some Comfort Here

Heart rate, blood pressure, temper, all spiking. My chest,  filling with pressure, about to blow. I was on the verge of fight or flight, when the most beautiful sound reached me from the backseat.

In a sweet, clear, boyish soprano, my son began to sing, “In the arms of the angel, fly away from here…” I joined in at the chorus, faking  the lyrics. But as I sang, everything lifted up and out of me through the moonroof. All the tension, the frustration, the rage.  Gone.

Flown away.

Once again, at just the right time and in just the right way, my son taught me everything I needed to know in that moment. What a wise, little, old soul he is.

Now, let’s all sing together…“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Happy Father’s Day Everyone!

 

 

Life’s Backhand…

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Nothing like a trip to the Emergency Room to deliver some perspective to my frontal lobe.  Crisis mode brings with it a tunnel vision and clarity of purpose that helps me know exactly which things need to be done and in what order. No wasted effort, no hesitation, just get ‘er done, stat.

Like Tyler Durden of Fight Club said, the “ability to let that which does not matter truly slide” was my guiding force, and everything that really needed doing got done, and nothing else. Perhaps  I should behave this way everyday…

The vital signs are stable, the patient is in good hands, the childcare has been arranged. The adrenaline has subsided and the fatigue of past 26 hours of stress and worry is washing over me in waves.  We’re out of danger, thankfully, though the next few weeks will be tough and all my carefully crafted summer plans are on hold.

Life just delivered a resounding backhand and I survived the blow. Time to shut it down and rest.

 

Pick The Right Arena

Chad Rowan was going to be a basketball star. He was an All Star  high school center on his way to college on a full-ride basketball scholarship. No doubt, Chad and everyone around him had high expectations for his basketball career.

But fortunately for him it did not turn out that way. He rode the bench his freshman year, then quit the team and dropped out of college. Though he was 6’8” and very strong, he was competing in the wrong sport.

Five years later, Chad Rowan was crowned the first non-Japanese champion of the sport of Sumo. Under his wrestling name, Akebono, he achieved Yokozuno status, the highest level in the sport, within a few short years of his professional debut. From there, Akebono dominated his competition for eight years.AKEBONO1 Continue reading Pick The Right Arena

Dreamers Need to Stick Together

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TOMORROWLAND

Have you seen Tomorrowland? No spoiler alert needed, I won’t be giving it away. But I did want to share this quote from the film:

“Dreamers need to stick together…”

I love the idea behind this. Dreams, desires and visions are fragile things. They need to be nurtured and supported so that people can act on them. Too often they are squelched by negativity before they can sprout and take life. And that is a very sad thing

Have you ever done this? Had a great idea pop into your head, then chased it right out with “oh, that will never work”, or “yeah, who am I kidding”, or “right, that will be the day!” Most of us fall victim to this so often we probably don’t realize what we’re doing to ourselves.

That’s why we need to band together with our support groups, our communities, our Masterminds, to feed these thoughts before they get stomped on. Sure, not every idea can be a winner, but the process of brainstorming is only successful if we allow all the ideas the light of day, the wilder the better. Continue reading Dreamers Need to Stick Together

Productive Anxiety

You ever Sheldonwatch The Big Bang Theory? Hilarious sitcom about four nerdy scientists from Cal Tech.

In “The Anxiety Optimization” (Season 8 Episode 13), Dr. Sheldon Cooper has an epiphany after struggling to make a breakthrough in his newly chosen field of Dark Matter.

Sheldon: “The reason I may not be progressing in my research is I’ve created too pleasant an environment for myself. According to a classic psychological study by Yerkes and Dobson, in order to maximize performance, one must create a state of productive anxiety. So, I like to ask you all to do something for me. Keep me on my toes. Throw me off my game. And essentially, go out of your way to make my life miserable.”

Gang: “What’s in it for us? (slight pause) Okay we’ll do it!” Hilarity ensues as his friends torment him for sport.

(Hebbian version of the Yerkes-Dodson law) OriginalYerkesDodson.svg Continue reading Productive Anxiety

Garo Yepremian

Everywhere I’ve been the last two days they’re playing B.B. King’s music. I’m mourning his death too, but there’s another great American I’m mourning right now: one of the NFL’s greatest kickers and my personal childhood hero, Garo Yepremian.

Growing up in the 70’s I idolized the one and only Armenian sports star in America. I spent hours after school kicking a football off a tee in the street in front of our house, trying to clear the phone lines. While most of you wanted to be like Mike, I wanted to be like Garo.miami-dolphins-garo-yepremian-465-topps-1973-nfl-american-football-trading-card-32566-p

A 2-time Pro Bowler and a Pro Bowl MVP, Garo led the 1972 Miami Dolphins in scoring during their perfect 17-0 season. He played in three Super Bowls and was nominated to the Hall of Fame after a 15-year career in the NFL. With all this success, though, he is still remembered most for the great sports blooper he committed in the ’73 Super Bowl. Continue reading Garo Yepremian

Resist the Unremarkables

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You ever watch the show Community? My guilty pleasure because of the brilliant writing and the fact that I dropped out of more community colleges than anyone you know. The show’s off the right air now but it’s coming back in two weeks as a Yahoo online production.

In the episode “Digital Exploration of Interior Design” (Season 3 Episode 13), John Goodman plays Vice Dean Robert Laybourne, the head of Greendale College’s air conditioning repair school. In a pivotal scene, he drives a wedge between friends Abed and Troy (Dani Pudi and Donald Glover), in his never-ending quest to get Troy, an HVAC savant, to enroll in the air conditioning school.

Using a comparison to Troy and Abed’s favorite show, “Inspector Spacetime”, Vice Dean Laybourne fuels their argument over the building of their pillow fort. He suggests that Troy cannot appreciate Abed’s vision, because he is like Inspector Spacetime’s loyal but unremarkable sidekick Reggie. This dialogue caused me to sit bolt upright on the couch, as if the frigid overflow of a leaky air conditioner had dripped down my neck… Continue reading Resist the Unremarkables

Please Disregard My Previous Post…

There I was all cheery and full of civic pride for filing my tax returns on time and paying my fair share. Then I got a call late tonight from my CPA – both my Federal and State tax returns were rejected because SOMEONE HAD ALREADY FILED A TAX RETURN IN MY NAME!

That’s right, I am now officially a victim of one of the fastest-growing forms of identity theft, dirty bastards ripping off tax refunds by posing as you. How did it happen? My only guess is that the data breach a few months ago by my health care provider loosened my social security number upon the criminal class, and they made short work of my tax refund.

So now instead of pursuing my dream of being a writer, I will be pursuing my new dream of not being a victim of those dirty bastards who stole my ID and my tax refund.

So no celebrating Tax Day for me – gotta go file affadavits with the IRS, my local police department, the FTC, the credit bureaus, my health care provider and anyone else who will listen…