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Steve Kerr on leading the Warriors

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

In his first two years as a head coach in the National Basketball Association, Steve Kerr has proven a quick study. At 52, Kerr acts like a confident leader with decades of experience.

Kerr has built the Golden State Warriors into a formidable team of selfless contributors. Players rave about his leadership and credit his steely drive and determination for their success.

How does Kerr do it? Here are some clues:

Stay close to your team. Some leaders remain aloof under the assumption that it’s unwise to get too close to underlings. But Kerr prefers to know what his players are thinking and feeling.

He engages them in wide-ranging conversations, listens to their views and observes their body language. By empathizing with them, he builds trust and shows that he cares about their wellbeing.

Control your emotions. Kerr never flies off the handle. Even under duress, he keeps his temper in check.

In rare cases, Kerr unleashes his fury in a way that jump-starts his team. During the first game of the NBA finals in June 2016, he smashed his clipboard on the sidelines to vent his fury at his team’s poor play. They responded by winning the game.

“Destruction tends to ease some of the anger, so I try to take it out on the board rather than a player,” Kerr says.

Involve everyone. A big believer in making everyone feel like a vital part of the team, Kerr gives every player a chance to shine. While many coaches build their squad around a superstar, Kerr expects greatness from his deep bench of talent.

— Adapted from “4 Leadership Lessons Every CEO Can Learn From Steve Kerr,” Dennis Yang, www.entrepreneur.com.

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