Over the last few months, Netflix have provided a much needed distraction for the millions stuck at home. First it was Tiger King, which quickly became an internet sensation and had us all hooked on the feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin (who definitely murdered her husband, whacked him!).
However, focus has now shifted to Netflix’s docu-series about Michael Jordan and The Chicago Bulls; The Last Dance. I first heard about the series from Joe Wicks’ Instagram stories (before my HIIT commitment quickly fizzled out and I unfollowed him so I’d feel less guilty). The docu-series then infiltrated my household and every evening I had to sit and listen to how good it was, how motivating it was and how I would really enjoy it.
I finally gave in and watched the first episode with the mindset that I would hate it, people would stop telling me to watch it and I could go back to reruns of Downton Abbey.
Knowing absolutely nothing about Michael Jordan (apart from what I had seen in Space Jam), I watched the first episode and then went on to finish the entire series across two days. I was hooked. So much for proving someone wrong! I’ve now become the very person I set out to prove wrong and am so positive that everyone else in the world should watch it, I volunteered to write a blog post about the four top things I took away from The Last Dance.
1. Length of service is irrelevant
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at a company for 12 hours, 12 months or 12 years. If you’re more committed and more driven than someone else it will show. Michael Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and at the time, he was fresh out of college, a rookie. His teammates didn’t know him as the world class athlete we know today and he had to prove himself.
Of course, that’s exactly what he did. He worked hard, his team recognised that and began to respect him for his skill set. In fact, the entire NBA recognised it and Michael won The NBA Rookie of the Year for the 1984-85 season.
2. It’s ok to be the bad guy
Now, you need to take that statement with a pinch of salt. I’m not saying it’s ok to be the next Darth Vader but I’m also saying sometimes you have to show a bit of tough love.
Throughout the series, you’ll hear people praise Michael Jordan and in the same breath talk about how feared he was. On the court, if you weren’t pulling your weight and giving it your all, you better believe you were getting called out for it. Off the court, if you needed support or needed a laugh, you better believe Michael is the one you could go to. He understood the balance between being a friend and also being there to work.
If someone in your team isn’t pulling their weight and giving it their all, how are you going to hit your team and company targets? The chances are, you’re not. And if you’re reading this thinking, ‘I don’t know anyone who doesn’t pull their weight’ then you must have the world’s most motivated team or, chances are, it’s you.
3. A good support system is crucial
There are a few examples that feed into this but the one I want to focus on is Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s relationship. Both players have said they could rely on each other to be exactly where they were needed at all times. The amount of trust between the pair was unparalleled. Even in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons, later known as the ‘migraine game’, Michael was visibly apprehensive about playing without his right hand man Scottie.
Imagine working in a company where you can’t rely on your team. Will your clients receive the same level of service when you’re off? Will your employees conduct themselves in a way that represents the company? Can you rely on your team to offer support and advice when you’re dealing with a tricky situation? If you answered no to any of the above questions then maybe you need to ask yourself why that is and how you can change it.
4. You’ve got to work
Things in life don’t come unless you work for them, well at least for the majority of us! When Michael Jordan retired from basketball and tried his hand at baseball, he wasn’t great. Let’s face it, he was certainly better than your average Joe but he still wasn’t top of his game. So what did he do? He put the hours in, he practiced and practiced until his hands were blistered (literally).
If you’re going to turn up to work at 9am on the dot, faff around making breakfast and catching up with your friends and not actually start to do any work until 10am – you have missed out on an entire hour. A whole hour of your day that could make a huge difference. Let’s say a customer sent an enquiry out to numerous companies at 8.30am. Your competitor got to work at 8.30am, got themselves settled and by 9am they have already picked up the enquiry and sent the quote.
Just giving an extra half an hour of your own time could make a huge difference to your sales, why don’t you give it a go for a week?