Steph Curry’s life has changed immensely since his days of playing basketball as a kid, but the same can’t be said of his personality, nor his leadership style.
“As I look back from when I started playing AAU basketball when I was nine to now, I have the same personality,” Curry told ESPN’s Doris Burke as part of Friday’s fourth annual Jr. NBA Leadership Conference. “I love to have fun, I love to smile, I love to crack jokes and keep it light no matter what room I’m in. I’ve always known that was my disposition, my personality, and that’s what I was comfortable with.
“Because I was talented and eventually became the best player on the team, there comes a certain expectation that, from a leadership standpoint, sometimes you have to be the most vocal and demonstrative. We’re all watching the MJ documentary, and you see how he showed up every single day committed to winning. And it was all about winning, winning, winning, which is important. And he had a certain style that he was comfortable with.”
Curry, though, didn’t fall victim to that expectation. He stayed true to himself, meaning he had to lead in his own way — which turned out to be nothing like Michael Jordan’s style.
“You don’t have to be anybody but yourself,” Curry explained. “There are a lot of different ways that leadership presents itself. I feel like I have a blend of a couple factors where I try to lead by example, like putting in the most time, having the hardest work ethic, and showing people what it means to be committed to winning and to doing everything you can to get better every single year and not settling. I can show it better than I can say it, and so I know there’s a consistency to that. But I’m also pretty selective when I do speak. I’m not the loudest guy in the room, so when I do say something, hopefully it commands attention and has a presence about it.”
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Part of the beauty of Curry’s leadership style is that it allows room for others that might be carried out quite differently. Draymond Green, for instance, is more vocal and demonstrative, but in combination, both styles have proven quite effective.
“You talk about Draymond, he has a totally different approach that works for him because of who he is and what his personality is like, and what makes us better as a team,” Curry said. “The biggest thing is you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror every day and say that I did everything that I could to not only make myself better, but everyone around me. And that doesn’t mean it’s something tangible; it’s just a feeling that you have. And from there, you just keep adding the dominoes to the stack, if you will, in terms of how a leader is supposed to show up every single day.”
“So,” Curry summarized, “know who you are and lean into that.”
[RELATED: Draymond emphasizes importance of Steph’s leadership]
The Warriors’ leader knows who he is, and that’s why the Warriors are the way they are.
Warriors’ Steph Curry developed leadership style by staying true to self originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area