One of the more interesting conversatations I had at our All-Staff Christmas Party was with one of the spouses of a CCC staff member who works for Michael Jordan. He is the general manager for a project that Michael is very involved in and consequently talks with MJ weekly and often takes trips with him and hangs out with him. So I asked him, “what are the some leadership lessons that you have learned from your interactions with MJ”? Here are the highlights of that conversation:
Earn Your Leadership Everyday – Just because you are the MVP or a World Champion that was yesterday. You have to re-earn your leadership everyday. There are 20,000 fans showing up that expect to see the best today; they don’t want to rely on memories. MJ says: “Nothing of value comes without being earned. That is why great leaders are those who lead by example first. You can’t demand respect because of a title or a position and expect people to follow. That might work for a little while, but in the long run people respond to what they see.”
Push Yourself, Cause No One Else Can – MJ still gets up everday at 5am to workout and play hoops with former and current NBA players. He pushes himself in every area. In MJ’s words, “Success is not about celebrating the results as much as it is about understanding the process that produced those results. You can never underestimate the results of hard work and dedication.”
Expect From Others What You Expect From Yourself – And MJ expects others to live up to his standard of “earning your leadership everday” and to “push yourself to be your best.” My friend said Michael will not hesitate to let someone go if they do not perform
Be Loyal To Those On Your Team – He told me that the first person that MJ met when he arrived in Chicago was a guy who gave him a ride from the airport. That guy is still his body guard til this day.