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Winning Through Conflict

I met a cool guy in Knoxville today, the Warriors' rising star, Kevon Looney. He's a player who is developing at a rapid pace, and he's learned a ton from one of the league's current notorious instigators.

In sports, there are players on most teams that cause friction. Today, you see it in players like Draymond Green, Kevon's teammate. 

When I was growing up I watched basketball big man Bill Laimbeer cause chaos in the league. Joe Dumars was known for being super tough on his own teammates. Obviously, I was a Pistons fan....Bad Boys!

These teammates can be controversial, but they are also an indispensable part of their teams.

Without Draymond, I don't believe the Warriors would have won a single championship. Without him, it's harder for Kevon to develop like he is.

Draymond is the guy that will start yelling at his own teammates, not because he dislikes them, but because he knows they need to hear it, and he doesn't mind being the unpopular voice to catalyze his team to action.

He wants to win together as a team.

He's also (from what I hear) fiercely loyal to his team. He will lay it all out there for the sake of pushing them to a win, and that is a requirement if you're going to be that kind of player.

It takes all kinds of personalities and skills to build a championship team.

It actually REQUIRES conflict and friction. Name a team in any sport that didn't go through conflict in order to win. You won't find one. 

So why are we so conflict-avoidant in business?

Why do we tell ourselves stories that we are winning, instead of honestly admitting when we are not, and challenging each other to be and do better?

Telling yourself you are winning when you are behind doesn't change the scoreboard.

Last week, I got to dig in deep with several of our #channelpartners who are brave enough to say "I want to be better."

I don't have all the answers for them, but the conversations spurred creative thinking and fueled the competitive juices of us all so we can win together.

Who is on your team who will challenge you?

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