It's amazing how time can change perceptions. Just two years ago the basketball world was hailing Steph Curry as having arguably one of the greatest individual seasons of all time from a statistically perspective. He made over 400 3-pointers (the hardest shot to make) when no player had ever made more than 300! And his team won a record 73 games. However, at the end of the playoffs they lost the Championship to LeBron James, Kylie Irving and Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then he has seemed to fade away from the spotlight of those considered the best players in the league.
He won the MVP award after the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but he wasn't even in consideration for the award in 2017. And even though his team, the Golden State Warriors, won the championship this past season, most people gave the credit to new addition, Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the world.
Related: 7 Lessons to be a MVP Like Steph Curry in Your Business and Community
Nevertheless, I believe 2017 was his greatest year ever. Was it because he had the best statistics of his career? No. It was Because he demonstrated a character trait that most high- performing athletes - and high-performing leaders in all walks of life - rarely exude. HUMBITION.
I define humbition as a combination of humility and ambition. It’s a blend of possessing a strong desire to succeed tempered by the ability to submit to a cause greater than individual success. For a person to demonstrate humbition they have to possess a strong character, because it's not an easy trait to utilize for very driven people.
When Durant signed with the Warriors, Curry stated he didn’t mind making room for the former MVP on the team if it meant winning another championship. He recognized that although they were already very good, they would be seemingly unbeatable with Durant’s unique skill set on board. And true to his word, Curry adjusted his game to allow Durant to fit in smoothly. And sure enough the team won its second championship in three years at the end of the 2017 season.
Curry embraced what many community leaders seem to forget, and that’s what’s most important is achieving the goal, not who gets the glory for it. You should be ambitious and have big goals for yourself and your organization. There would be no big impact without people who have big goals. However, you should never let the pursuit of your personal goals get in the way of engaging with others in your community who have the potential to multiply the positive impact on those who are underserved.
One key to making this happen is identifying the skills and strengths of all those inside and outside the community who want to contribute to its development, and then exploring ways to most effectively complement one another. Another important aspect of combining talents is having a shared vision and goals that all involved individuals and organizations can agree upon and are willing to contribute to.
Our communities certainly need people with big visions, audacious goals, and a strong hunger to succeed. But surely if a team of highly talented, big-ego basketball players can submit to one another like Steph Curry did to win a championship, highly talented leaders with big ideas can learn to work together in our communities for the good of our communities.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling