BUSINESS LESSONS FROM MICHAEL JORDAN
Once Michael Jordan understood “this” everything clicked. That’s when the Chicago Bulls started to win Championship after Championships. Keep reading or watch my video to find out what “this” is.
My husband and I have been watching the Netflix series featuring Michael Jordan, The Last Dance. We're hooked. It's totally captivating. Not only is it a well-done documentary on an outstanding athlete, it goes way beyond sports. The series captures the essence of the man: the leader, the self-imposed discipline, the significance of investing in his passion. If you’re not familiar with sports, Michael Jordan went from being cut from his High School basketball team, to becoming the number one basketball player in the world. He single-handedly redefined the sport.
Despite all the great lessons my husband and I are learning from Michael Jordan: lessons of tenacity, resilience, discipline, mastering your craft, and passion, it is the lesson on leadership that stands out the most. What caught my attention in episode four (or maybe it was episode five - I can't remember because we watched two in a row last night) was that under the direction of Coach Doug Collins, the entire team was instructed to do whatever it took to put the ball in Jordan’s hands. That’s it. They were not valued for their own skills. They were simply a means to an end – get the ball to Jordan, so he could score all the points. Then, a new coach was hired, Phil Jackson. Coach Jackson had a different strategy - which came to be known as the triangle offense. Coach Jackson created a passing and cutting system that created opportunities for all five players on the floor to score. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight, but once Michael Jordan was able to embrace the new system, which no longer highlighted him, things began to click. No longer viewing his teammates as being there just to pass him the ball, Jordan went from being a great player, to being a phenomenal player. On that night of their first championship final, Coach Jackson said: "you need to pass the ball to Paxson, look around and see who's open." Paxson was open so Jordan passed and he scored - I think it was even a three-pointer. No one was expecting that pass. At that moment, Michael Jordan understood the power of having a team. His focus shifted from wanting to be a superstar to wanting his team to win. And win they did… three Championships in a row!!!
It's the same in business, whether a big corporation or as an entrepreneur, you need a team. I used to be a one woman show. I was doing everything on my own. My Academy didn’t even exist yet. Eventually I quit my full-time job and my company changed from being ‘on the side’ to a full-time business, but sadly it was still just me. Only once I started to seek help did things begin to change: I started to hire coaches, hire business mentors, work with accountability partners, designate tasks to other people, and hire people to do the things I didn’t like or wasn’t good at. This gave me time to truly master my craft. Once I created a team, my business flourished, and the Academy was born!
When you surround yourself with a team, when you start trusting them and empowering them to let their talents shine so they too can actually score for the team, that's when your business will grow. So, if you're an entrepreneur like me, maybe also a bit of a control freak who wants to control every part of every aspect of your business, know this: that's not how you win championships! If you really want to become the greatest of the great, for your business to success beyond your wildest dreams, you need a team. You need to listen to people around you, invest in others and trust that they can get the job done. You need to become a leader. It won’t be easy. You need to learn how to rely on a team. And remember, they are not you. They won't do things exactly like you would. They will do things their own way. Being a leader is not about making others become like you. Trust me. That's a mistake I made when I first hired trainers to teach my material. I restricted them and insisted they needed to do things exactly the way I would do them. Basically, I kept these people in a cage. Once I changed my approach and gave them the liberty to teach my material the way they wanted teach it, they started to flourish – and so did my business. You need to trust your team. They can score for you. You will benefit from empowering the people around you so they can play their best game. Do not try to keep the ball for yourself. Become the best leader you can be. Grow your business by growing your people. That’s how you WIN.