Did you have a bad weekend?
Compare it to Stephen Curry, the phenom with the Golden State Warriors.
Curry is in the worst shooting slump of his career. Over the past few games, he's made only 13 percent of his three-pointers (of the 31 attempts, he'd made only four).
On Sunday, he had a rough first half against the New York Knicks, hitting only a handful of shots and struggling to find the hoop. The team with the best record ever in the NBA last year has stumbled lately, losing two games in a row. A trade for star Kevin Durant was meant to ensure a title win, but he's been sidelined for weeks.
Yet, during the game, coach Steve Kerr explained the true reality to Curry. First off, you should know that Kerr is a "hands-off" coach. Watching him during games, you rarely see him jumping around waving his arms. He sits calmly, letting the players do their job. He has an unassuming vibe, like he's coaching at a local community ed game.
Because Coach Kerr was "wired up" for the game, there was one segment when the coach and his star player were sitting next to each other and you could hear the conversation.
"You're doing great stuff out there," he said, sitting next to the MVP. "The tempo is so different when you're out there. Everything you generate for us is so positive."
Kerr then explained how Curry may not be hitting his shots, but that's OK. He gave him the big picture. The thing that matters most, he said, is the plus-minus. This basketball stat is a relatively new way of looking at the game. It compares the stats for one player against everyone else, but only when that player is on the floor (and when he's off the floor).
It's a measure of success. It shows how the player is having an impact and involves much more than mere shot totals and percentages.
Of course, Curry's totals are off the charts. His plus-minus for the game was +22 with 31 points, two steals, eight rebounds, and six assists. There's no question Curry was having an impact. And, the team is doing great--they are 51-11 on the season.
As Curry headed back to the court, Kerr said: "Carry on, my son."
He went on to drain a few more threes and the Warriors won the game. You could see the shift in momentum the moment after Kerr gave him the pep talk.
What worked so well? To me, there's no question Kerr is one of the greatest coaches of all time. He has the insight to know what works for his players. For anyone trying to lead a company, motivate employees, and find success, there are a few quick lessons you can learn from what happened against the Knicks yesterday. Here they are:
1. Be the voice of encouragement
Competition is fierce. The pressure on salespeople, knowledge workers, and managers is high. As a leader, be that person who pats people on the back instead of correcting them constantly. Offer a positive comment to help them get through the rest of the day.
2. Get detailed
You'll notice how Kerr used data with Curry. He explained how his overall impact is still extremely high, even if the star player doesn't have a hot hand. Too often, statistics become numbers in a spreadsheet and nothing more. Take the time to explain the details.
3. Match that vibe
Kerr has a relaxed tone as he talks to Curry. This is not going to be the end of the world; the season is far from over. The best leaders are able to frame things in a way that is easy to understand, relevant, relaxed, and highly motivational.
4. Explain the big picture
Employees often get stuck in the day-to-day activity. The marketing project has stalled out, or the development project hit a snag. Be the leader who provides a 500-foot view. Why are we doing this project? How does it help? Where are we heading? Why is that a good thing? Reveal to employees how it all fits together.