May 13, 2020 Maria

What Executives Can Learn From Michael Jordan

Who, exactly, seeks out a coach? Winners who want even more out of life.     

– Chicago Tribune

Most pundits consider Michael Jordan to be the greatest basketball player of all time. When you think of the embodiment of basketball greatness, it’s his image that comes to mind. Yet even MJ couldn’t win multiple championships by himself.

When assessing Jordan’s career, few choose to take note of who was by his side every time he lifted the championship trophy. 

Phil Jackson – the guy that burned incense before games and forced his players to meditate is as much to thank for winning the Bulls trophies as Jordan. Many will speculate if this is the case, but MJ knows the truth.

When it was announced before the 1997-98 season that Jackson’s contract wouldn’t be renewed, Jordan responded by saying, “I still need to play for Phil, I won’t play unless it’s for Phil.” True to his word Jordan left the Bulls with Jackson at the end of the season, trophy in hand. 

A professional athlete is one of the few professions that recognizes the significance of a coach. 

The rest of us generally lose our coaches the minute we enter our respected professional fields. With athletes, it’s the opposite. Once they go pro, their coaches take on an even bigger role in their lives. 

In our youth, our coaches were our parents. They taught us how to tie our shoes, how to fish, and how to treat others. 

Then came our schooling years. 

Teachers coached us on how to work together, how to do long division, and how to count to 10 in French. 

After college, we entered the workforce. 

If we were lucky, an older co-worker would take us under their wing and show us the ropes. We learned the ins and outs of our respected businesses and how to grow as a professional. But after a while, we outgrew even our mentors. We evolved to a point where coaches were scarce. 

The sporting world shows us that no matter how elite we become, coaches can always add value to our lives. That the more pressure we feel, the bigger the decisions we need to make, and the more confused we are, the more necessary it becomes to interact with someone that can help you refine your vision, re-evaluate your goals, and pivot. 

A coach won’t yell at you or burn incense before critical meetings. 

What a coach will help you do is clarify your objectives and align your actions to your values. With an executive coach on your team, you’ll learn to lean into your strengths in order to make impactful changes from the inside out. 

Stagnancy is an illusion. 

Change can be generated. You just need to realize it. 

Let’s talk about the change you want to create.