On the Warriors website you won’t find an overarching mission statement. But what you can find, and what truly lead me to look into the Golden State Warriors from this perspective, is this fascinating video about core values on their YouTube channel.
The values are competition, compassion, mindfulness, and joy. In the video they really isolate on the value of joy. Basketball is meant to be fun. It’s a long season and when you are having fun, you are fun to watch, and fun to coach.
Seeing mindfulness on the list makes Phil Jackson’s influence quite apparent. Phil, who coached Steve Kerr from 1993 – 1998, earned the nickname the Zen master and was known to use visualization and mindfulness techniques with his teams.
On the careers section of the teams web page there is also a treasure trove of insightful information. Beginning with a definition of who they are:
WHO WE ARE
“This is one organization. That’s the secret. One organization. We know we’re in it together. In one cohesive vision, one set of strategies and tactics. That’s why I think we’ve been successful.”
– Peter Guber, Co-Owner, Golden State Warriors
- It takes more than the players on the court to bring games to our fans. Behind the roster and coaching staff is a collection of hard-working individuals, striving for greatness off the court. We consider our employees to be team members, and refer to them as such. We are more than just a company or a basketball team – the work we do is impactful. We exemplify the unique spirit of the Bay Area as innovators both on and off the court. We are one organization with one purpose, chasing history one goal at a time. Become a member of our team today.
On this particular website I find an additional set of values (Trust, Empathy, Accountability, Modesty), which is not unusual as I am finding out, but it can be disconcerting. Generally these values don’t conflict with one another so it’s not a huge deal. However, since I do find these four values less insightful into the organization than the ones presented in the video so I won’t include them for this analysis.
There is also a significant portion of their careers website that describes how the GSW focus on giving back to the community. They have a mission statement for this objective and it reads as follows:
- Mission – The Golden State Warriors are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and believe our individual experiences, backgrounds and perspectives help drive innovation and create an environment of empowerment. We believe in strength in numbers – on the court and off the court – fostering a culture where every person is valued and heard, to build a more inclusive and open community for all.
So now what. We have an organization that obviously has spent a great deal of time thinking about their identity, goals, and values. They are also making efforts to show all members of their organization, and members of their community, that they care. They talk openly about employee wellness and provide comprehensive benefit packages. What else can I add to complete this picture? Thinking back to the core values discussed in the video they really strike me as hacks to living a better life.
This is what forces them to relentlessly improve themselves. It is essentially never being satisfied with what has already been achieved but using those accomplishments unlock their next evolution. Competition is a gateway for self improvement. Phil Jackson, along with the Dalai lama, call it the ‘gift of the enemy’. It is the challenges that are placed in front of us which allow us to truly better ourselves.
Concern for others is a powerful gateway to living a better life. From the volunteer organization helpguide.org they state the following about helping others:
“helping others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.”
It is somewhat ironic that helping others may be the secret sauce to helping yourself. It is a relationship that seemingly programs the universe for success, and ultimately for the good in us to overwhelm the bad. By simply understanding this, and acting upon it, helps us achieve alignment with the flow of life.
“The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.” – Eckhart Tolle
This is about living in the moment. It is letting go of both the bad and the good things that have come and gone and focusing on where you are right now. It is the task at hand that matters more than anything else. Because in truth, that is the only thing that is real.
“,,,Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Too often Joy remains locked within a positive result. We feel guilty for feeling joy unless we have already achieved our goals. But listing joy as a core value recognizes that experiencing life as joyful is a key factor in not only success, but to a life well lived.
The Golden State Warriors are all about living a great life. They just happen to be basketball players. And to live life to the fullest is a tremendous act of gratitude. I believe the best and simplest way to describe what makes the Golden State Warriors great is to say that they represent: