Jessica Levco

Healthcare Marketer and Social Media Specialist

Jessica Levco is an experienced healthcare marketer and social media specialist. She creates must-read content for hospitals, healthcare non-profits and associations. 

4 Healthcare Leadership Lessons from the Golden State Warriors

I’m getting tired of blogs with titles like, “3 lessons your hospital can learn from Starbucks/Amazon/Disney/insert any other multi-billion dollar behemoth corporation.”

That’s because it’s not realistic to compare your hospital to a corporation. 

Sure, you could argue that your hospital is a business, but realistically, if you’re a 112-bed hospital in rural Missouri, how are you — the marketer manager — going to create big shakeup in how your hospital does business? 

Answer: You’re not. 

But what you can do is change how your own communications team functions. And if you’re looking for a role model for the best team out there, take a look at the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. 

They won their fourth NBA championship by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals. Currently, their record is 48-4. What makes their current record even more impressive? Their head coach, Steve Kerr, was on medical leave for a significant period of time. They won a lot of their games with the help of their interim coach, Luke Walton. 

Here’s how they’re playing together — and how your team should, too: 

Keep the joy

Sports Illustrated tries to figure out what makes the Warriors so special. Is it culture? A community? A consortium? 

Andre Iguodala, the team’s forward, says, “It’s a flow. With a cadence, a rhythm, a boom, boom, boom. We understand.” 

It’s hard to define what the Warriors have that no other team does, but here’s something to consider: If you watch the Warriors play, they’re having fun. They make everything look effortless. Everybody is doing their best. 

The takeaway: Lighten up the mood in your office. Let people bring in their pets for a day, hand-out free burritos for lunch and celebrate success in a big way. You want employees to wake up and say, “Wow, I’m excited to come to work today for XYZ.” 

There’s no reason to panic

Even when things don’t go well on the court, the Warriors play through their mistakes. You’ll never see their coaches yell at them from the sidelines. That’s because their coaches know that in high pressure situations, yelling at someone never does anybody any good. Instead, it’s better to huddle up together and come up with a plan to fix the problem.

The takeaway: It’s inevitable that your hospital will have a crisis at some point. Butinstead of losing your cool, think about how your staff can work together on the problem. And remember, even in those “Oh @$#! moments,” pay attention to the tone of the emails you’re sending to staff. Don’t say something you’ll regret the next day. 

Let your best employees shine

Steph Curry, MVP, averages 32 points a game. The Warriors give him room to sparkle and shoot. “(Michael) Joran doesn’t need anybody teaching him to score, just as Curry doesn’t need anybody teaching him to shoot,” Sports Illustrated explains. Sometimes, the best coaching is the absence of coaching. 

The takeaway: If you’ve got an all-star employee, don’t micromanage him or her. An all-star employee has an internal drive and wants to live up to their personal best. Your job is to give them the all tools and resources to set them up for success. 

Have fun with your competition

Here’s how an opposing player talks about an upcoming game against Curry. 

“You’ve got to be physical with him…We just got to take the fight to him…We’re hungry for a win. It’s a must-win game for us.”

But the Warriors don’t approach games with this kind of jargon-induced do-or-die battle talk.

“We just like to play,” Walton says. 

The takeaway: You’re all about “differentiating” yourself from the competition, but remember: We’re all in healthcare together. We’re all trying to make our communities healthier. So, the next time you see a clever advertisement or hear a great TV spot from your competition — send them a congratulatory tweet for a job well-done.