EMA’s Leadership Principles & The Warriors

At Empower ME Academy, we take pride in cultivating leadership skills in our students through our curriculum.

Our core principles, including listening, empathy, accountability, daring, energy-giving, resilience, and selflessness, are the pillars of effective team leadership. This blog delves into how the Golden State Warriors basketball team exemplifies these critical skills.

By showcasing the diverse ways, individuals can exhibit their unique leadership abilities; we hope to inspire our students to become the best leaders they can be.


“Listen with ears to hear you. Listen with eyes to see you. Listen with hear to connect with you.”

Coaches hold the formal position of the leaders of teams; however, their actions may not always align with the definition of a true leader.

A coach has the responsibility of leading a team & also actively listening to & accepting feedback, whether negative or positive.

Steve Kerr epitomizes this ideal by listening to his players on and off the court and acknowledging them as both athletes and individuals.

During games, he allows them the freedom to learn from their mistakes and adapt their strategies. Off the court, he hears their concerns when they expressed their refusal to visit the White House during Donald Trump’s presidency, for example.

He stood firmly alongside them when they spoke out against racism and police brutality. Kerr’s listening extends beyond his ears as he listens with his eyes and heart as well.


Seek genuine connections by understanding the needs of others and being aware of their feelings, thoughts, and body language.”

Listening and empathy pair well together, and Steve Kerr is a good example of how they can combine to make a great coach and leader.

Coach Kerr demonstrates a deep understanding of his players’ needs, knowing when to be strict & when to give players space.

Curry has commented before on “The Rex Chapman Show” that Kerr gives him the freedom to be himself on the court, leading to three-point plays that no coach could plan, happening within the chaos of the game.

His empathy also extends beyond the basketball court and into the realm of social issues, as demonstrated by his response to the Uvalde, Texas, shooting in 2022. In a pre-game interview, Kerr condemned the senators that are refusing to vote on a bill that would enforce sticker background checks.

Steve Kerr recognizes that true leadership goes beyond the X’s and O’s of the game, embracing the holistic well-being of his players and inspiring them to reach their full potential.


Embrace mistakes to become your best version.”

Mistakes are an inherent part of being human, and true leadership involves being accountable when an error is made.

In October, a regrettable incident unfolded when Draymond Green punched his teammate Jordan Poole. However, what sets Green apart as a leader is his ability to recognize the gravity of his actions and take ownership of his behavior. He publicly acknowledged the seriousness of the incident, displayed remorse, and apologized.

A genuine leader is not one devoid of faults but rather someone who possesses the wisdom & strength to confront, learn & grow from their mistakes.

Green demonstrates this by now engaging in discussions surrounding the incident and understanding its impact on team dynamics. His willingness to address the situation reflects his commitment to growth, both as an individual and as a team member.


Engage every challenge with courage and enthusiasm by taking risks without fearing failure.”

Looney’s game has undergone quite a transformation since his days before the NBA. Back in his high school days at Milwaukee Hamilton High, he was a proficient shooter and guard, scoring an impressive 45 points in his final game.

However, upon joining the Warriors, Looney recognized the team’s shooting needs were already well-covered and dared to reinvent himself as a dominant rebounder and defensive force. Despite the size difference between him and the typical center, he was able to bulk up and adapt to his new role.

His journey showcases his willingness to face a challenge for the betterment of the overall team.

No one is more fearless when it comes to rebounding. This is one of the most important attributes of winning/losing.


Raise the confidence of others by making people feel good about themselves- every day.”

Payton II has emerged as an invaluable energy-giver for his team. In pivotal moments, his presence on the court raises the confidence of his teammates through his willingness to hustle when energy is high or low.

He plays with the heart, which can be seen in his outlook on losing in game six this season; You can’t ask for anything else…playing at the highest level with the highest players, so there’s no failure, there’s nothing like that…

It’s a learning experience, & you grow from the situation if we win, we won if we didn’t, we still learn from the series, it was a fun series. Loved it, absorbed it, learned from it, apply [it] next year.

His remarkable performance in Game 5 against the Lakers also exemplified his value; during his 27 minutes on the court, the Warriors outscored their opponent by 25 points. Being an energy-giver benefits everyone around you and is how Payton demonstrates leadership.


Bounce back stronger from setbacks with hope and optimism.”

An injury is always a devastating blow to players. Resting means skill deterioration, fewer opportunities to practice with teammates, and less time to play against opponents. Now double that. Klay Thompson had to overcome two major injuries to his leg in two years.

The path to recovery from an ACL and Achilles injury is grueling and demanding, but his resilience guided him through the physical challenges. Additionally, he also had to find mental balance as there was unending media speculation about the likelihood of his return.

Many doubted he would come back and, with good reason, according to Dr. Michael S. George, a medical expert at the KSF Orthopaedic Center, 30% of athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB that suffered an Achilles injury never came back to play. Regardless of all this, Klay is still in the game at the highest level of basketball.


Prioritize WE over me.”

Under Steve Kerr, the Warriors have built up a team-first approach. It can be argued that each player is selfless as they make individual sacrifices to jell together as one. But one particular athlete that often is faced with the choice of prioritizing ‘we over me’ is Stephen Curry.

Despite his outstanding performance on the court and often being hailed as the best player in the NBA, Curry remains humble.

On the court, he shares the ball, understanding that, ultimately, basketball is a team sport. Off the court, he recognizes the platform he was given and uses it to advocate for issues like gender equity in sports and founded his own nonprofit in Oakland geared towards ending childhood hunger, bringing up literacy rates, and providing spaces for children to play.

His commitment to uplifting others has even recently earned him the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.


Each child has a unique way of doing things, just as every leader has their distinct style. We firmly believe that by mastering the seven leadership behaviors, your child can develop their skills and become an exceptional leader.

It’s crucial for them to identify their strengths and overcome any challenges they may encounter.

We urge every child to embrace their leadership identity and cultivate the personal style that suits them best.

Remember, this is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and growth, and we are confident that your child has the potential to achieve greatness.


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