It was just over a week ago when news hit the wire that Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz would be stepping down. He’s been the head honcho responsible for building the company to its massive presence in the marketplace. In the announcement he described his days at Starbucks as the dream of a lifetime.
While Schultz might be stepping down, Steph Curry just took his team another step up in the annals of NBA history. Having been to the finals four years in a row, they won the last two in back-to-back fashion. Schultz and Curry enjoy the best work life ever on the field of dreams as masters of their game.
For Schultz it’s been about building a world-class brand. For Curry it’s been about building a Warriors team dynasty. Their achievements are so many to mention but what they seem to have in common tells us something about what it takes to be masters of our own game and have the best work life.
Their success reminds us of what it means to act like a player and think like a brand. In our early days of primary/secondary education that’s essentially what we’re learning. In that case it’s a cross between school and sports. But in our adult years it’s a cross between how we develop socially and professionally.
What we learn from Schultz is a sense for how we brand our skills. In the case of Curry we might see how to swag our skills. Those skills have helped to build their competencies into a global franchise and all-star professional. They’ve been through the good, bad & scary and came out ahead by managing:
- Passion points vs selling points
Curry’s got game and as a player he thrives on his unique passion points. Schultz’s got mojo as a market leader and helped the biz thrive on its unique selling points. Whether it’s your passion points or selling points these can have different levels of impact starting from the ground-up and starring at the top.
- Bad pain vs bad press
Both had some downtime (or dark time) in their careers. More recently, Curry was out with a sprained ankle. Schultz had to deal with the discrimination incident at a Philly store. Being masters of their game forced them to be ‘twice-baked.’ That’s where you have to grow both personally and professionally.
- Skills ballin’ vs niche rollin’
Every year the NBA draft welcomes a new class of players. Some make it through training camp and the Combines to eventual become a household name. A similar journey happens for an emerging brand or ‘on the verge’ artist. What we’ve seen Curry and Schultz do is turn skills into ballin’ and niche into rollin’.
- Good fit vs big hit
There’re times we see players on a team for years without making it to the championships. Then they’re traded to another team and somehow things begin to click. Curry hasn’t had a need to be traded and Schultz didn’t jump ship to another brand. They simply became a good fit on the team and a big hit for the fans.
Curry says he’s looking to win a few more rings. Schultz says he’s open to new opportunities in philanthropy and public service. There’re rumors that he might even have an eye on higher office. When their hall-of-fame story is told there’ll be moments when you realize how they enjoyed the best work life.
Tip: Whether it’s becoming a world-class brand or first-rate player, the good ones know how to turn their skills into thrills and their passion points into a big hit.
Talkback: Who should get NBA league MVP this season: Steph, Harden, or Lebron?
Tracks: Carrie Underwood ft Ludacris – The Champion – https://youtu.be/HgknAaKNaMM
Ne-Yo – Good Man – https://youtu.be/3xv9YIOKIZw