What common characteristic do Stephen Curry, Cam Newton, and Canva all have in common?
It’s probably not what you think. The Delta Is The Difference.
In our Greatest Innovators Series, we examine what separates the greatest innovators – brands and people – from everyone else.
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The Chef Makes It Look Easy
Steph Curry is dominating the NBA and making the greatest players in the world look silly while doing it.
Despite his undersized frame, his ridiculous ball handling combined with unbelievable shooting skill has helped him to perform at levels the NBA has never seen.
He has broken nearly every 3-point record in the books and he’s getting better!
- A few weeks ago, Curry became the first player in NBA history with 200 3-pointers in 4 straight seasons.
- He set the NBA record with 286 3-pointers last season and is on pace for 396 this season.
The next best shooter in the NBA by statistical measures is Kevin Durant. The difference in percentage points between Durant and Curry is the same as the gap between Durant and the #44 most efficient shooter.
His staggering level of play has helped the Warriors to the best start in NBA history and their record currently sits at 44-4.
Superman Soars Above The Competition
Since the Carolina Panthers joined the league in 1995 as an expansion team, they have mostly ranged between being an average team and a very good team.
This year’s team is probably the best team in Carolina’s history but if they win, their 18-1 record could place them in discussion as one of the best teams in NFL history.
Much of their success can be attributed to the play of Cam Newton, their 6-6 quarterbeast.
This year, Cam became the first quarterback in NFL history with 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Cam’s dual-threat ability presents opposing teams with a nightmare matchup. He has incredible arm strength, great field vision, a monster frame and impressive agility for someone his size.
So what do Stephen Curry & Cam Newton have in common with Canva, the design tool? We’ll tell you. But it’s probably not what you think of first.
Living in a digital and social age, we all know about the importance of having great visual content … but many of us struggle because we don’t have the skills, tools, or know-how to do it well.
The design tool has taken the design world by storm. A new design is created in Canva every second and the company has acquired over 7.5 million users in less than three years! They are adding nearly 30,000 users per day!
You could state that Canva have been successful for a large number of reasons, but I would argue that this is the most important reason…
Canva, took something that required major time and expertise (designing in Photoshop and other tools), and gave the average Joe the ability to make and share beautiful graphics.
To state it simply: they make average and good players, great.
Millions of users are flocking to Canva because they help people believe that they can become better versions of themselves and then they help them get there.
Cam Newton and Stephen Curry have done the same thing for their teams. They have inspired belief. Their play and their presence is helping average players… good players… to become great players.
Cam Newton’s supporting cast is average at best.
Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn Jr., Corey Brown and Jericho Cotchery epitomize the working middle class of skill players.
Besides Greg Olsen, I don’t think anyone would rank, these players as elite in their respective positions or predict that they were capable of driving the highest scoring offense in the National Football League.
Cam Newton has been the difference maker.
Future Hall of Fame wide receiver and former teammate, Steve Smith Sr. says, “Cam just makes everybody better… And makes you bring up your game.”
The same can be said for Stephen Curry who’s skill creates wide-open looks, creases and lanes for his teammates to exploit.
The Greek symbol delta, is a symbol that implies the difference or amount of change.
Your leadership delta refers to the amount of positive change you’re able to create in the people around you.
The greatest innovators have an ability to push those around them to places that they couldn’t have reached on their own.
Steph Curry has inspired his teammates to spend practice time working on making “logo 3’s” from just inside of half-court.
The greater the delta that you are able to create for others, the greater your influence becomes as a leader.
Here are 3 ways you can increase your delta:
– Recognize the efforts of your teammates and promote their work.
– Learn what areas your teammates are gifted in and play to their strengths.
– Be unapologetically enthusiastic and spread the joy to those around you.
How would you rate your leadership delta?
What kind of change do you hope to model and inspire in your workplace? In your home?
Do you empower others?
These are questions that we should all be asking ourselves on our journey to becoming great innovators.