How to Be the Next Stephen Curry
The NBA season kicked off this week with its biggest star, arguably, headlining opening day, Steph Curry. Fans today know Curry as the NBA's first unanimous Most Valuable Player, winning the award for a second straight season last year, and a lock for Hall of Fame. This fate was anything but preordained, and there's a big lesson to be learned by Millennials if you want to be seen as the "Stephen Curry" to future employers.
Passed on by recruits of every major Division 1 NCAA school, including his NBA father's alma mater, Virginia Tech, Curry settled on Davidson, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina. This was yet another slight in a long list of reservations and doubts people had expressed about Curry's abilities at this point in his career. His height, his size, his strength, and his toughness were all questioned from early on in high school through his time in college.
How did Steph overcome these overwhelming odds - his "insane work ethic". According to a one-time trainer, Alan Stein, Curry "started his workouts 30 minutes before every other player where he'd start taking game shots from game spots in game situations. By the time the workout officially started he'd already made 100–150 shots, almost in a full sweat. When the workout actually started he was meticulous with everything that he did. He made sure that he had perfect footwork, he made sure he had perfect shooting form. If he did anything and it wasn't perfect, he did it over again, and he didn't need a coach to tell him, he just did it."
It was Stephen Curry's passion for basketball, against all odds, that led to his insane work ethic, which led to his rising rank from Davidson to the NBA, where he would lead his team to an NBA Championship and earned two straight MVP titles.
Although the majority of NCAA and NBA teams overlooked Stephen Curry because they were too focused on his lack of competencies that were considered valuable at the time, Bob Mckillop and the Golden State Warriors instead saw the passion, the work ethic and the making of a future star.
Now, every NBA general manager is looking for the next "Stephen Curry." In reflection to drafting Curry into the NBA, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers says that, "What people who didn't like him didn't see is he is a tremendous worker and cares about the game."
Employers don't want to make the same recruiting mistake where they are passing up (or ignoring) the future talent and leaders like Stephen Curry? What can you learn from Stephen Curry's story and how the Golden State Warriors became one of the most valuable teams in the NBA by taking a chance on a player that showed more passion and grit in comparison to all the physical competencies that teams were looking for in players.
Competencies and competency-based hiring is great, but while candidates can get hired into jobs because they have acquired the right "competencies"—two-thirds of Millennials claim they are planning to walk out the door within a year because they are not passionate about the work they are doing.
"Two-thirds of Millennials express a desire to
leave their organizations by 2020."
- Deloitte Research
When this group was asked why they wouldn't think twice about leaving their current employer, even if job hopping made them look bad to potential employers, RecruitFi found that "86 percent say that it would not prevent them from pursuing their professional or personal passions." Additional researchers arrived at similar conclusions.
Aligning your passion with experience is the new competency that employers are looking for.
Employers are starting to take a cue from Davidson coach Bob McKillop and Bob Myers, GM of the Warriors, by recognizing "passion" as a core hiring competency.
Why? Individuals that are passionate about the work they are doing are naturally engaged and self-motivated to continuously acquire the skills needed to remain competitive. And, the employers that recognize passion as a competency and nurture that passion will have the advantage, as they will not only retain top Millennial talent—they will also create a natural defense system to the disruptive forces facing every organization today.
How do Millennials showcase their passion and standout to future employers?
There is an entire industry springing up around this passion-based economy and this fundamental need for employers and employees to articulate their passions and come together around them.
Companies like BrandEdU and Roadtrip Nation are producing content sourced from successful professionals that are following their passions—creating online environments to help motivate and inspire Millennials to discover and pursue their own passion-fueled career paths.
Companies like The Muse are redefining the job search process for Millennials by focusing on culture, while Galvanize is redefining where this work borne of passion gets done through their network of coworking and educational spaces.
Leading universities such as The New School and Columbia University are even joining the fold through partnerships with companies like Qubed Education, which develops online learning programs with top-tier university and globally-recognized brands to help youth and millennials discover and pursue career paths that align to their passions, including the Fashion and Sports Industry Essentials programs that quickly attracted over 150K millennial students.
According to Rob Kingyens, President and CEO of Qubed, "Although our first objective is to help students discover a career path that aligns to their passions and talents, this inevitably leads to the student identifying the competencies required for them to pursue that desired path, and an opportunity to start building the skills and competencies that are in high-demand by employers," Kingyens notes that "it all starts with passion as the core competency that drives this next generation of talent."
Employers are looking to recruit, retain and engage the next generation of talent that are passionate about a particular career path, coupled with the motivation to achieve objectives that align to both the individuals and organizations goals.