The San Antonio Spurs are known for having one of the best front offices in basketball. What is it about their front office’s leadership that makes them the gold standard to which other front offices are compared? And what lessons can you take and apply to your own business?
In sports, as with any business, we are measured and critiqued by our decision making. Whether the Spurs are drafting a player, signing a free agent, or considering resigning a player, they operate in the same fashion, using values-based decisions. Now, what do I mean by values-based decisions? Think about the last time the Spurs have brought in a player who was considered a “headache” or had “off the court problems.” It rarely happens. A player might have remarkable talent, but if he doesn’t fit the standard set for personal character, he will not make the cut.
Another leadership tactic the spurs emulate fits with SOS Leadership’s “if you want a 20 million dollar company, you need 20 million dollar people” idea. The team goal is to win championships, so in order to win those championships, coaches bring in championship-level people.
Collaboration is also a key component to successful leadership for the Spurs. As a former college athlete, one of the first things I learned is that when everybody is pulling on the same side of the rope, you’re going to be tough to beat. This tactic creates the culture of we, not me. When your players or employees are working together without worrying about stats or accomplishments, they become more effective, efficient, and the end result is usually what was desired in the first place.
If you want to improve your business results, look to the Spurs as a leadership example. Practice values-based decision making. Create a Development Culture in your organization where everyone is growing. Inspire others toward collaboration because if it’s to be, it’s up to we. If you do these things, you will develop the heart and skills of a champion.