Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why every team needs an Avery Bradley

I talk a lot in this blog about the importance of the team, a lot of it is admittedly focused on hiring superstars.  And, as we all know hiring superstars is so right, no it’s tough.  So, in this post I want to draw an analogy for you that will I think make a lot of sense.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley....chances are you’ve never heard of him but you’re very familiar with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo.  Bradley? Who?  Well...let me show you a few stats from the Boston Globe:

In the Celtics’ first 30 games this season without Bradley, when he was rehabbing his shoulders, the team’s defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) was 102.1, the 13th-best mark in the NBA at that time.

But in the 27 games since Bradley has returned, the Celtics’ defensive rating has skyrocketed to 97.2, the second-best mark in the league...

Read that again.  One guy, one undersized 22 year old guard take the Celtics from a middle of the road defensive team, into an elite defensive team.  One dude.  The implications for those of us recruiting, hiring or building teams is huge.  It’s not necessarily about building a team of’s about building a team with a few stars (KG, PP, Rondo etc) and surrounding them with players that EVERYONE better.  No one will be driving Bradley to the Hall of Fame for what he does...but what he does makes Hall of Fame players better.

So,my question to you is this.  Do you have an Avery Bradley on your team?  If not, you should.  What would a workplace version of Avery Bradley look like you say?  Here are a few traits:

- A world class expertise in one very specific skill.  For Bradley, it’s defense

- That skill....rubs off on the team and make everyone better.  For the Celtics, it’s “team defense”

- Energy.  Watch this video and you’ll notice Bradley never stops.  His teammates call him the “pit-bull”......that energy is infectious and makes everyone play harder.

So, there you go....when you’re building a team hire as many superstars as you can (see the Heat, Miami) but make sure you supplement them with high energy specialists that make everyone better.

Until next time......good luck out there.

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