This week’s conversation is with Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Currently in his fifth season as head coach, Steve has guided the club through four of the most prolific seasons in NBA history with a list of accomplishments that includes:

  • Three NBA championships
  • Four-straight NBA Finals appearances
  • The NBA’s single-season wins record (73)
  • An NBA Coach of the Year award (2015-16)
  • Four of the five winningest seasons in franchise history

Steve, who won five NBA championships during a 15-year playing career, now owns eight championships as either a player or coach, becoming the first to win three NBA titles as a player and three as a coach.

So I think it’s clear – Steve understands winning but he’s searching for something beyond that.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Seahawks culture, it’s centered on competition.

Steve has made it a point to revolve the Warriors’ culture around joy.

In this conversation, we discuss how Steve went about building the Warriors’ culture, what he’s most hungry for, and his biggest challenge at the moment – finding a way to keep the Warriors’ motivated and playing with joy after they’ve already experienced so much previous success.

Steve is one of the brightest minds in the game of basketball and I think you’re going to love his insights on not just basketball, but life as a whole.

“The value that means the most to our team is joy, and it’s reflected in the way we play.”

In This Episode:

  • When he was looking to move into coaching 5 years ago, visited the Seahawks and had a great experience learning from Pete Carroll how he goes about building a culture
  • Realized how important it was to get clear on your values and implement them in everyday team activities
  • Most important values for the Warriors: joy and compassion
  • When he was 18, dealt with the tragic passing of father
  • How to move through pain
  • Two of the most important parts of coaching: keeping perspective and having gratitude
  • What he learned from Gregg Popovich
  • What he learned from Phil Jackson
  • Why Lute Olson had the biggest influence in getting his career going
  • What he’s most hungry for… experiencing moments of group flow with his team
  • His biggest challenge: keeping the Warriors motivated after they’ve won so much

 

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Quotables:

“When your values match those of your best player, that’s a really powerful force.”

On group flow: “Whatever you do in life, to me there’s more joy in doing something with someone else than doing it on your own.”

“It all comes down to… authenticity.”

“Almost no one goes through life without dealing with real adversity, tragedy, losing a loved one, going through health issues, whatever it is, nobody’s immune. I think the important thing to remember, and I think about it a lot as I’m living and coaching, is just perspective. Keeping perspective even when, maybe especially when, things are going well.”

“It’s important to go through life counting your blessings. Each day being thankful for your family, your career, whatever it is you’re thankful for. I think those things need to be acknowledged.”

“As a coach, what I ache for is not just winning the game, but it’s that feeling when everybody is connected and joyful and competing together. There’s no feeling like it.”

“There’s nothing else that can match group flow. That’s what I’m constantly hoping our team achieves.”

 

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Steve Kerr is the head coach of the Golden State Warriors and former player. He is an eight-time NBA champion, having won five titles as a player as well as three with the Warriors as a head coach.