Stop Hating for Five Seconds, See What We Can Learn From The Warriors – By Annie Apple

There is no such thing as a super team, unless a super team is a team that refuses to lose when it has to win. Lots of teams have talented players on their roster but aren’t winning. The term “Super team” is a low-key way of undermining what the Golden State Warriors are doing. The so-called experts gleefully fail to acknowledge that the Warriors are winning because their talented players play ego-free basketball. In an all eyes on me culture, the Warriors’ eyes are on the prize. They’re proving you get so much accomplished in life when you don’t care who gets the credit. The following are four other lessons we can all learn from this year’s Golden Warriors..

Make no time for ego

Warriors have two players in Kevin Durant and Steph Curry scoring 30 plus points each a game and either guy could be finals MVP. Yet they play selfless ball. Their team is loaded with talent, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala. But their greatest talent isn’t ball skills; their greatest talent is their ability and commitment to playing team ball. They aren’t stuck on who’s the star. The star for the Golden State Warriors is winning. That is their daily goal in practice, meetings, film studies and the results show. So whether you’re on an IT team, nonprofit, corporate, education or service staff team, focus on how you can work together to create a great product, process, service and the results will be super.

Stay unbothered

My mom told me many years ago, “Annie, when you want to accomplish anything in life, don’t look at people’s faces for approval or acceptance.” Kevin Durant left Oklahoma Thunder and never looked back. He’s been vilified, his character attacked and manhood questioned for his business decision as a free agent to join the Warriors. Yet, he stays focused and continues to be outstanding.  This team has been undermined all season. When they win, they’re supposed to win. With the so-called experts saying they’re only winning because they have KD. But at one point OKC had KD, Westbrook and Harden, but for whatever reason, the team couldn’t get it done, and Harden left, then Durant.

You can never underestimate importance of chemistry, sacrifice and teamwork. When Durant went to Golden State, it could’ve failed. With all that talent, there was no guarantee they would all gel together and make the mental sacrifices and game changes needed to win. They’re winning by shutting out the noise and focusing on exceeding their own expectations. So stop listening to what people who are not invested in your growth and success have to say. Focus on what you and your team, family, coworkers are trying to accomplish. Let the goal be the focus and the process will work.

When you put team first, you personally will win

Putting the needs of the team first in a team environment is important to personal success. When the team wins, you win. The goal isn’t personal accolades. If you get a dozen triple doubles but your team falls short, it doesn’t matter. Focus on the process and productivity of team work and you’ll all reap the benefits, individually and collectively.

Stay humble

Don’t get distracted. Don’t start believing your own hype. Don’t get sucked into the praise or criticism. Stay humble. Success can be as much a distraction as failure. Stay locked in and on task. Remember, when the goal is greatness, you will never arrived. Greatness is a process and a journey which requires patience, focus and humility.

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My Amish Ways, or the Last of the Technikans

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 I admit it.  I am always one of the last of the converts when it comes to technology. 

When CDs first came out, I remember my friends raving about how great they sounded.  Or how one can skip from one song to the next without waiting on the cassette to go forward or backward to the next song.  But oh no.  I didn’t want to give up my cassettes.  For one thing, as a notorious music lover and collector of tunes I had a serious amount of tapes I had amassed over the years.  I even had my own mixes that I put together and gave to buddies of mine who wanted to,  ummm let’s just say have something romantic to listen to with their girlfriends or wives.  If I switch to CDs, what would I do with all of these tapes?  And damn I can get Ice Cube’s new tape for $11.99 but the CD is like $18.99!  When CDs first came out, that was what they were costing off the top.  Puuleeeese! 

Then I bought my first CD player.  It was a single Sony model that I hooked up next to my double cassette high fi model.  It was a whole new world.  After hearing the sound that was the most crisp I had ever experienced, I went to the music store and bought almost $300 worth of music.  The first order was to buy music I heard growing up, and then get the ones to match the best of what I had on tape.  I now have thousands of CDs from Miles Davis to Boney James, from Stevie Wonder to Dan Fogelberg, Pat Benatar and everything in between.  I had it made right?

Nope!  Then they came out with MP3 players.  It took quite a while but eventually someone gave me an Ipod and between pod-casting the Jim Rome show and downloading much of my personal music collection, along with music from the library that I didn’t have to buy, I have over 12,000 songs at the touch of my fingers.  This must be heaven!

One would think I would learn my lesson and  get with the times quicker.  Most of my adult life has been spent working in areas where technology was the way we got the job done.  And new system upgrades were the norm.  But I’m still slow to personal technology change. 

I won’t even get into DVDs.  I have plenty of them but only after I amassed hundreds of VHS tapes full of old basketball games, movies and PBS documentaries. 

When I really think about it though,  I’ve learned that there are two reasons for my slow progression in embracing these helpful and often better tools.  First, I am just a person who is slow to change.  I can get set in my ways and set in the comfort of my habits.  Once I learn a thing and can operate it well, I don’t like changing it.  The second reason is that I am afraid of the technology.  I don’t feel confident that I can pick it up quickly. 

I am reminded of how people created these myspace pages years ago.  I heard about them over and over but just refused to mess with it.  I was afraid that I could not navigate through it proficiently.  By the time I got around to it, it was all but outdated.  My boy Rich for instance was already doing a blog.  I recall leaving a comment on one of his blogger friends blog, and I left my myspace page link.  She commented back to me,  “Man, your still on myspace?  You need to get a blog.” 

Sigh… dang!  I must be 5 years behind on everything!

Rich tried to show me the blogging ropes.   But you know how that is.  Richard is very technologically savvy.  He has a natural talent for it.  So he ran through it as if I were in college rather than the Sesame Street level of teaching that I really needed.  Eventually I stood up and faced the learning curve necessary to start this one. 

This morning I decided to go ahead with the next step in my personal technology growth.  The GPS!

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Yes indeed for years I thought I was the man with my Yahoo and Google map directions.  Too often however they are difficult to read especially in rual areas, or when I’m in another city.  Sometimes the directions are the long way to get somewhere or flat out wrong.  Of course driving and looking at directions isn’t the safest thing to do either.  It’s stressful trying to figure these directions when they name a street that doesn’t have a street sign on it when you approach it.  Or when you have a street that is also named a number.  One major artery in St. Louis for instance is called Lindbergh Blvd.  But it’s also called Hwy 67.  (Though it’s not a highway.)  If someone told me to go to Hwy 67 I would know where to go.  If I were not from here, I would be like, “Dammit!  I don’t see no 67, I see Lindbergh!”

Sports officiating has really brought me down to my directional knees as I go to these schools and ball fields in places I have never been to in my natural life.  So once again as Usher would say, “Here I Stand.”  Today I will make the step, pay the financial cost, and learn the ways of technology that will help my life run smoother.  I just hope the salesperson is not a jerk and will explain the basics to me without being condescending.

BB&G’s Weblog Turns 1!

On this day one year ago I wrote my first blog.  Well not really my first.  I wrote some stuff that appeared on another blog, (Thanks Rich House) but finally I left my MySpace page in the dirt and decided to focus on a venue that was more centered on writing.  Thus BB&G (Blessed Broken & Given) Blog was born.

I’ve had some good times with this tool and have met some really cool people too.  There are so many interesting people and opinions to read and I want to thank all who have taken the time to visit and share with me here. 

I also want to thank those other bloggers who frequent the site.  You know who you are.  I got mad respect for anyone who takes the time to write something to make me think, laugh, ponder, sometimes cry or simply be amused.

I look forward to keeping this up as long as I feel as if I can make a positive contribution in making you think, ponder, laugh, sometimes cry or simply be amused.

Grace & Peace … cmac