Kevin Durant to the Warriors: 7 Lessons for Nonprofits

Scoring the winning points at a basketball game

Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors after nine years with the Oklahoma Thunder. Weeks ago, the Warriors beat the Thunder 4-3 in the NBA Western Conference Finals after trailing 3-1. But the Warriors could not repeat as two-time NBA champions after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. As disheartening as the loss was for Bay Area fans, it may have been pivotal in allowing the Warriors to land Durant as the superstar who could take the team back to the championship. Had the Warriors won a second championship, Durant might have faced overwhelming criticism, discouraging him from jumping on the back of a championship team.

So, how does this relate to nonprofits? Glad you asked. Here are 7 lessons for nonprofits to be learned from the Kevin Durant saga:

  1. A loss is sometimes a win; look for opportunities whenever hit with a setback.
  2. Playing it safe is often a risk of slow decline and obsolescence – be bold even if you think you’re at the top of your game.
  3. Consolidation within a competitive industry is a market force to understand – be knowledgable and adaptable to be competitive; there will be a limited number of successful organizations in a particular space.
  4. Your key employees won’t always stay with your organization – make sure you have contingency (succession) plans.
  5. Recruitment is not a one-time event – make it a deliberate, planned, and continuous process.
  6. A team that values every player, no matter their role, will attract the best players for their system – create a pervasive tone of mutual appreciation and respect throughout the organization (starting from the top).
  7. Impact that can be created with the support of a prospective partner is the critical selling point – sell impact when recruiting, fundraising, managing, collaborating, and building movements.