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Aug 17, 201712:52 PMApplied Mindfulness

with Ed Maxwell

To build a winning culture at work, learn from the best

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Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

To find an organization that has designed a culture of winning, look no further than this year’s NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. Head Coach Steve Kerr has built the program into a powerhouse by emphasizing four core values: competition, compassion, joy, and mindfulness.

The first comes as no surprise — pro sports teams focus on thriving in the face of adversity. The second and third may raise eyebrows, since compassion and joy seem more like virtues to cultivate in one’s private life, not one’s professional life.

Much like Google discovered that empathy unlocks teams’ potential, Kerr found that caring for one another transforms a collection of talented individuals into an effective team. Compassion makes the sum greater than the parts.

Genuine enjoyment with your work also uplifts and motivates. The opposite is true, as well. Witness the abysmal performance for years of the L.A. Raiders, whose toxic culture is legendary.

The last, mindfulness, may come as the biggest surprise to those unfamiliar with it. Mindfulness is the means by which the team achieves joy, as it boosts happiness. It’s the way the team develops compassion and bonds with one another, as it grows emotional intelligence. It’s also how they function better under pressure since it increases focus, enabling them to make buzzer-beating shots.

The Golden State Warriors aren’t the only ones to use mindfulness to create success. While coaching the Chicago Bulls, Phil Jackson brought in sports consultant George Mumford to teach his athletes how to be more mindful. In The Mindful Athlete, Mumford describes how mindfulness united the team after Michael Jordan returned from his stint playing baseball, overcoming hurt feelings and helping teammates adjust to one another.

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