Photo credit: Stephen Curry (Getty Images)

I’m not the biggest sports fan, but if asked which teams I “root for”, I’d say I’m team Knicks, Giants, and Yankees by way of marriage. (I’ve always followed the Knicks, but in trying to keep a low-stress life, I had to distance myself from them after the 90s).

As the NBA now looks to draft the best talent for the teams’ quest towards winning the championship next season, I think about the two leaders that just competed in the finals: Stephen Curry, a star player for the Golden State Warriors and Lebron James, a star player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The storyline could’ve easily been put into a soap opera. King James returns to his jilted team to lead them to victory. But, here comes Curry who shoots his way to claim the championship for his team after a 40-year drought.

In no way am I making a basketball debate as to who is the best player of all time, or who should have won the championship. This is also not an opportunity to talk about how LeBron could have led his team to a ring if one of the other star players was not injured, blah blah blah.

Regardless of which team you wanted to win, (or if you don’t care at all about basketball), you can’t ignore the leadership traits of a winning brand.

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” —Andrew Carnegie

Curry shined because his focus was on being a good basketball player rather than a basketball star. A part of that meant that he made his signature jumpshots that helped win games all season. But he also trusted his teammates to step up and do their part.

He knew his strengths, yet was humble in knowing that he had to take each game for what it was. Whereas James told reporters that he was the “best player in the world” after losing a game, Curry downplayed a great shot in the same game that his team won, saying that they can talk about the great moments after the championship is won.

Humility and teamwork are the most important traits that a good leader can have.

No man, or woman, is an island. Everyone has to share the same desire towards a common goal or else you won’t have a cohesive team.  A broken team with broken leadership cannot win at the end of the day.

A good leader focuses on the end goal for the whole team. As a star player, your shine should never overshadow the opportunity to build trust within your team. After all, a win for the team is a reflection of the leader who paved the way for success.


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Marietta Gentles Crawford
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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Writer + Personal Brand Strategist, Founder at MGC Ink
Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of "From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career." With over ten years' experience climbing through top corporate and government brands as a writer and trainer, her passion is inspiring professionals to dare mediocrity.
Marietta Gentles Crawford
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