By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Select areas of expertise:
  • Applied AI
  • SMBs as a market
  • Commerce enablement
  • B2B marketplaces
  • Female founders & executives
Recent appearances / in the media
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of Anna's conference and press appearances

5 Lessons for Founders from NBA All-Star Shane Battier

The “No Stats All Star” joined M13 Co-founder Carter Reum on stage at Future Perfect 2024 to talk building winning mindsets and winning teams.

TOC
...
Table of Contents
Read More

Table of contents
By
No items found.
By M13 Team
Link copied.
June 14, 2024
|

3 min

Shane Battier

The team doesn't need you to be the best player in the league. They need you to be the best person in that role, for that team.

——Shane Battier, 2x NBA Champion

Carter Reum

I love to talk about the power of compounding improvement. Every January 2nd, I always say: If we get 1% better every day, by the end of the year, we've gotten 37x better.

——Carter Reum, M13 Partner & Co-founder

Shane Battier is regarded as one of the most successful—if unusual—basketball players in history, known for his data-driven approach to basketball and teamwork. Michael Lewis famously dubbed him “The No-Stats All Star,” a nod to the fact that Shane’s strengths aren’t captured by traditional basketball metrics, but by the fact that his presence on a team made them significantly more successful overall. 

In other words, Shane's presence on a team helps the whole be greater than the sum of its parts—or as we say at M13, to shine brighter together.

According to Lewis, “The game tempts the people who play it to do things that are not in the interest of the group…. Morey has come to think of [Shane] as an exception: the most abnormally unselfish basketball player he has ever seen. Or rather, the player who seems one step ahead of the analysts, helping the team in all sorts of subtle, hard-to-measure ways that appear to violate his own personal interests.”

Shane joined M13 Partner & Co-founder Carter Reum at our annual Future Perfect conference to talk about leadership, teamwork, and his unique approach to winning. Here are some of the top lessons—for business and for life—from their conversation.

1. Embrace unseen, ‘unsexy’ contributions

Winning teams win as a team—not as individuals. It’s important to acknowledge that some of the most important work may not be immediately visible or celebrated.

“Kobe Bryant is the toughest competitor I’ve ever had to guard against. But even the great Kobe Bryant had strengths and weaknesses,” says Shane. “I knew when Kobe Bryant went to his right hand, he had a 62% shot of scoring. (That’s legendary, by the way—that’s what makes him one of the greatest players of all time.) But if I sent him to his left hand, and I kept him from the basket, it was only a 42% shot. You don’t have to be a math major from MIT to know that if I’m guarding Kobe, I’d rather him have the 42% chance of success than the 62%. If I can get him to do the 'bad thing' every single time, I’m creating positive expected value for me.” 

Armed with this data, Shane memorized every spot on the basketball court where he could get that edge. “And so even though I wasn’t sexy, I couldn’t jump, I was slow, I didn’t score—I still knew how to create value on every single space on the floor,” he concludes. “That’s why when I was on the floor, my teams magically played better.” 

2. Obsess over process

In both sports and business, you simply can’t control outcomes—they depend on too many factors outside of your control. What you do have control over is your own contribution.

“I became obsessed with process,” says Shane. “I cannot control the result. I cannot control whether the ball goes in or not. But I could affect where Kobe took his shorts from. I became detached from the actual result, because that’s something I can’t control—so I can’t worry about it.” 

This mindset helped him reframe success for himself and his team, and to focus in on the things he could influence instead of the things he couldn’t. “Carmelo did kick my butt,” Shane laughs, recounting guarding 10x NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. “But the process was pure, so I didn’t worry about it.” 

“I always talk about that with founders,” Carter agrees. “Respect the process. And if you just do the right things enough times over a long enough period of time, the results should follow.” 

3. Trust and mission focus are the most important factors for success

“As much as I love data, it still comes down to people,” says Shane. “In my work, running analytics in Miami for five years, we produce a lot of research—but maybe the most seminal piece of research that we produced was about the power of teams. There's two factors that determine your team's trajectory and success: trust and mission focus.”

Championship sports teams are made up of teams that have high trust in each other and a strong, united focus on the team’s ultimate mission. Similarly, 

“It’s the same for investing as it is for basketball,” says Shane. “It’s what makes us human.” 

4. Learn from worthy competitors

To encourage your own growth, seek out and respect worthy opponents who challenge you to grow and improve. Identifying and learning from people at the top of their game forces you to elevate your own strategy. 

“Kobe and I have played this meta game-within-the-game-within-the-game, the only he and I knew we were playing,” says Shane. “And he knew that I knew that he knew that I knew. As a competitor, I hope all of you find a worthy foil and a worthy competitor that you play a meta game with that only you know.” 

Your cheerleaders will boost you up, but sometimes it’s your competitors who build you up the best. 

5. Evaluating founders 

In closing, one attendee asked Shane about his experience talking to founders. His response came back to the main theme of the day—that winning teams requires more than just successful individuals. The whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. 

“I love talking to founders,” says Shane. “There are a lot of founders that have amazing ideas, have the passion, have the drive. But if they can’t get the right people to go along with them on their journey, they’re not getting my money. At the same time, I’ve invested in people whose idea might be subpar, who might not be very charismatic—but they are amazing at building a team that can execute, around that framework of trust and mission focus.” 

Shane Battier

The team doesn't need you to be the best player in the league. They need you to be the best person in that role, for that team.

——Shane Battier, 2x NBA Champion

Carter Reum

I love to talk about the power of compounding improvement. Every January 2nd, I always say: If we get 1% better every day, by the end of the year, we've gotten 37x better.

——Carter Reum, M13 Partner & Co-founder

Shane Battier is regarded as one of the most successful—if unusual—basketball players in history, known for his data-driven approach to basketball and teamwork. Michael Lewis famously dubbed him “The No-Stats All Star,” a nod to the fact that Shane’s strengths aren’t captured by traditional basketball metrics, but by the fact that his presence on a team made them significantly more successful overall. 

In other words, Shane's presence on a team helps the whole be greater than the sum of its parts—or as we say at M13, to shine brighter together.

According to Lewis, “The game tempts the people who play it to do things that are not in the interest of the group…. Morey has come to think of [Shane] as an exception: the most abnormally unselfish basketball player he has ever seen. Or rather, the player who seems one step ahead of the analysts, helping the team in all sorts of subtle, hard-to-measure ways that appear to violate his own personal interests.”

Shane joined M13 Partner & Co-founder Carter Reum at our annual Future Perfect conference to talk about leadership, teamwork, and his unique approach to winning. Here are some of the top lessons—for business and for life—from their conversation.

1. Embrace unseen, ‘unsexy’ contributions

Winning teams win as a team—not as individuals. It’s important to acknowledge that some of the most important work may not be immediately visible or celebrated.

“Kobe Bryant is the toughest competitor I’ve ever had to guard against. But even the great Kobe Bryant had strengths and weaknesses,” says Shane. “I knew when Kobe Bryant went to his right hand, he had a 62% shot of scoring. (That’s legendary, by the way—that’s what makes him one of the greatest players of all time.) But if I sent him to his left hand, and I kept him from the basket, it was only a 42% shot. You don’t have to be a math major from MIT to know that if I’m guarding Kobe, I’d rather him have the 42% chance of success than the 62%. If I can get him to do the 'bad thing' every single time, I’m creating positive expected value for me.” 

Armed with this data, Shane memorized every spot on the basketball court where he could get that edge. “And so even though I wasn’t sexy, I couldn’t jump, I was slow, I didn’t score—I still knew how to create value on every single space on the floor,” he concludes. “That’s why when I was on the floor, my teams magically played better.” 

2. Obsess over process

In both sports and business, you simply can’t control outcomes—they depend on too many factors outside of your control. What you do have control over is your own contribution.

“I became obsessed with process,” says Shane. “I cannot control the result. I cannot control whether the ball goes in or not. But I could affect where Kobe took his shorts from. I became detached from the actual result, because that’s something I can’t control—so I can’t worry about it.” 

This mindset helped him reframe success for himself and his team, and to focus in on the things he could influence instead of the things he couldn’t. “Carmelo did kick my butt,” Shane laughs, recounting guarding 10x NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. “But the process was pure, so I didn’t worry about it.” 

“I always talk about that with founders,” Carter agrees. “Respect the process. And if you just do the right things enough times over a long enough period of time, the results should follow.” 

3. Trust and mission focus are the most important factors for success

“As much as I love data, it still comes down to people,” says Shane. “In my work, running analytics in Miami for five years, we produce a lot of research—but maybe the most seminal piece of research that we produced was about the power of teams. There's two factors that determine your team's trajectory and success: trust and mission focus.”

Championship sports teams are made up of teams that have high trust in each other and a strong, united focus on the team’s ultimate mission. Similarly, 

“It’s the same for investing as it is for basketball,” says Shane. “It’s what makes us human.” 

4. Learn from worthy competitors

To encourage your own growth, seek out and respect worthy opponents who challenge you to grow and improve. Identifying and learning from people at the top of their game forces you to elevate your own strategy. 

“Kobe and I have played this meta game-within-the-game-within-the-game, the only he and I knew we were playing,” says Shane. “And he knew that I knew that he knew that I knew. As a competitor, I hope all of you find a worthy foil and a worthy competitor that you play a meta game with that only you know.” 

Your cheerleaders will boost you up, but sometimes it’s your competitors who build you up the best. 

5. Evaluating founders 

In closing, one attendee asked Shane about his experience talking to founders. His response came back to the main theme of the day—that winning teams requires more than just successful individuals. The whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. 

“I love talking to founders,” says Shane. “There are a lot of founders that have amazing ideas, have the passion, have the drive. But if they can’t get the right people to go along with them on their journey, they’re not getting my money. At the same time, I’ve invested in people whose idea might be subpar, who might not be very charismatic—but they are amazing at building a team that can execute, around that framework of trust and mission focus.” 

The views expressed here are those of the individual M13 personnel quoted and are not the views of M13 Holdings Company, LLC (“M13”) or its affiliates. This content is for general informational purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal, business, investment, tax or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters and should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of this content. This content is not directed to any investors or potential investors, is not an offer or solicitation and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or solicitation with respect to any current or future M13 investment partnership. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Unless otherwise noted, this content is intended to be current only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in funds managed by M13, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by M13 is available at m13.co/portfolio.