We Are Warriors
BY SHIRAZ ALI – ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
With the 2015-2016 NBA season recently tipping off, I can’t help but to think back to last year’s champions. The Golden State Warriors successfully held off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship last June. At the beginning of last season, to predict that the Warriors were going to be crowned champions was no slam-dunk. Led by a rookie head coach in Steve Kerr, and on the court by a young, inexperienced roster featuring guard Stephen Curry, the top of the mountain looked almost unreachable. Especially with juggernauts like the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and the Cleveland Cavaliers—whom had all spent millions in salaries to systematically build championship teams—stood in their way. So what was it, then? How did this young, inexperienced team do it?
Statistically, the Warriors were good. Actually, they were really, REALLY good. Golden State led the NBA in Points Per Game and Assists Per Game on the offensive side of the ball. Notable defensive metrics had them 6th in Rebounds Per Game and 15th in Opposition Points Per Game. Overall, this was a solid regular season. But if you ask most players on this team what ultimately won them the championship, the common answer to reporters was never about the stats, but more so team sentiment.
According to head coach Steve Kerr, the team’s interpersonal dynamics were crucial to the good vibes that season. “As a staff, we try to keep it light and loose while getting our work in, but it’s easy to have fun when you have great guys. Our guys are awesome. They’re coachable. They have senses of humor. They enjoy being around each other.”
After hearing these comments, I couldn’t help but think about the professional team I play for. I don’t mean basketball, but rather my team at Elicit. I realized we exhibit these same Warrior qualities. We are young, innovative, hard working, but more importantly, we have fun doing what we love to do! Just like the Warriors, we are an underrated team in an industry full of giants with huge salary caps. In an age where Customer Centricity is becoming a global phenomenon and practically an industry standard, Elicit refuses to simply throw money at finding a cookie-cutter solution to win business. Instead, we work in unison to find a strong, unique, and tailored solution for each of our clients.
More importantly, we are a real team. When you work at Elicit you will hear words such as “Family” and “Teamily” to describe us. We are a mixture of some highly talented rookies and some seasoned industry veterans, who all are working towards a common goal. We work in an environment where all ideas are heard, and no idea is a bad idea. Heck, we even have a bi-annual conference that gives each member of our team the ability to share new ideas to strengthen our product offering and to push the business forward.
Having worked at Elicit for well over a year now, I can honestly say I’m having fun at this company. Everyday is a new experience and a new learning opportunity. I have worked in the consulting industry for almost six years now, predominantly with one of the largest consulting firms in the country. You could say I have worked with some of the “larger salary cap” teams. Though I enjoyed my previous experience, being on this small, innovative team has shown me that the size of the organization doesn’t really matter. We may have the odds stacked against us at times, but so did the Warriors. Within the greater team, we all work together as smaller yet highly functioning teams to find the best solution possible for our client(s). We build strong relationships and make sure we always deliver. We are constantly looking for the quick steal on defense and to efficiently score on the other end with our equally strong offense.
The Warriors may have started the season with 5-1 odds of winning the 2014-2015 NBA Championship, but in the end, they succeeded. They succeeded because they were led by an open-minded and forward-thinking coaching staff. They succeeded because each person on the team felt like they were a part of something special. But more importantly, they succeeded because they truly had fun doing what they love to do. That formula in the end, no matter in sport or in business, is unbeatable.