Golden State Warriors: fun or success, which came first?

As a coach of my son's third-grade basketball team, I had the great privilege of being invited to a coaching clinic at the team's gleaming practice facility in downtown Oakland. One of the speakers was Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown. He told of coming to the Warriors and the surprise of having music and kids at practices. He said it is part of the team's success. I can see it: the players are professionals, they feel plenty of pressure, and so why would a stern tone from the coaches be? There might be times when a coach needs to get tough or serious, but it's not all the time. In my experience, a strong leader reads the group's mood and the best add some emotion that is magically both resonant and contrasting, exactly what the group needs.

It reminds me of, years earlier, when I was helping a group of senior leaders in a European industrial company. One person opined that fun was an important ingredient to a team's success. Someone more hard-nosed said: a team that is failing but having fun has a serious problem. Their conclusion: you want a virtuous cycle of success and fun and success and ...

Jonathan Becker