Otherwise known as Innovation. The single greatest factor for massive success. Not discipline, hard work, grit, etc. All are necessary, but it's innovation that allows you to play the same game, but by a different set of rules. You don't just win, you win big, you dominate, you create dynasties.
For every business... for everyone... they want predictable success. The safe route, the best practices, but nearly all wildly successful businesses, teams, and individuals have created value where there's not supposed to be any.
Creating value where there's not supposed to be any comes from connecting dots that others otherwise overlook. Connecting dots most often comes from curiosity. Sometimes it comes in an ah-ha moment, but mostly in the form of experimentation. But you're not going to experiment if you are always searching for best practices.
The other day I read one very good entrepreneur write to another entrepreneur that a skill that an entrepreneur needs is to "know the difference between a good idea and a bad idea." This is sound advice. In that moment it occurred to me, though, that perhaps better advice in that sentence does not come from a focus on good idea vs bad, but on "know the difference between..." and in particular knowing the difference between for YOU.
Know the difference between a best practice that works for YOU and one that doesn't. Know the difference between when to experiment with something new that will benefit YOU and when to go with the tried and true. Know the difference when to spend your money and when to save. When a relationship is helping you and when it is hurting.
Sure the Warriors are reshaping basketball. Winners are mimicked. But what's really happening is the Warriors are separating themselves from the pack. For as long as other teams try to steal best practices from the Warriors they may improve incrementally, but never be wildly successful. This same thing can be found in Hero Worship, or Bandwagoning... the need, the desire to fulfill that empty feeling of, "Why can't I do that?" Why can't I be that?" If only I follow the best practices it will be me on the podium, me on television, me being the hero to my spouse, my parents, my children.
But in order for that to be you, you have to know the difference, not just mimic. And knowing the difference can only arrive via experiments which comes with fear, and doubt, and worry, and sweaty palms and headaches and shivers down one's spine.
So again we reach for the book of best practices so we can feel like we're going to make it out alive, likely never to discover we're torturing ourselves trying to be, do, act like someone else.
It's scary to be wildly successful. There's only one way to go from the top. None of this is ultimately about success though. It's about you and me and our vulnerabilities. Because most frightening of all is not knowing the difference between the real, raw you and the lives you mimic to be safe and comfortable and without sweaty palms.
Anyway, make of this what you will. It's last call.