Basketball and I.T. Management:

I just finished watching the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA finals. In honesty, I’m a Laker fan and have been for 20 years, but watching Golden State do what they did tonight reminded me that the effectiveness of powerful management combined with consistent communication is almost impossible to overcome. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, the message is clear: for your team to be effective you must manage strongly, communicate goals and then get out of their way.

Cleveland has the best player in the world, and if you want confirmation just watch his press conference after his last loss in this series, he told the world exactly that. I won’t argue one way or the other, honestly he very well may be. The point here is Golden State has an amazing player in Stephan Curry, but also in 4 or 5 other players that worked together to neutralize an amazing James and crew.

Curry worked hard to lead his team, quietly and confidently, allowing his play and teammates to make the statements about their qualifications. He directed the play on court and settled down his teammates when necessary, firing them up as required. James’s teammates are great in their own right, but the distraction of James coupled with his lack of strong direction when it counted cost the greatest player in the world and an amazing supporting cast to fail.

In management I have been surrounded by amazing technical talent, some of it stood way above others in their field. Talent alone will get the job done in a pedestrian need, but to shine as an above average group consistently, you have to pick your stars, sharpen their tools, discourage the distractions and adjust immediately when necessary. Then get out of the way.

Cleveland made an amazing run in the end of the game to make it close, but team depth and patience for Golden State won the game in the end. The average I.T. request is not as critical or as glamorous as the NBA finals, I know. But if you want your team to stand out as champions day in and out, if your choice comes down to having an amazing, game changing talent with too much ego to assist their supporting players, or several talented people with the ability to communicate what they learn and work together, I know which I surround myself with. They just won the finals.

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