Ali Gordon


One of my favourite Michael Jordan quotes that I heard around the time The Last Dance came out on Netflix was “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. This quote really hit home for understanding the key to “winning” long term. Now I appreciate winning as a term has a subjective meaning. For each individual it will constitute something else entirely, however for me “winning” meant having a successful and diversifying business on top of a family and social life that didn’t suffer as a result of business pursuits.

The reason I think that this quote resonated so much was because for a long while I looked to achieve everything as me, on my own, everything under my control. Soon enough though I realised that whilst that made me feel more in control, it also left me isolated and from a business standpoint it left me vulnerable. I was having to solve tasks that I didn’t have the skill set for and the time it would take to develop that skill set was counterproductive to the very thing I was trying to achieve. The key was to build a team that had skills in the areas that maybe I wasn’t as strong. The key was for me to scale up where I was strongest and bring in other strong team players to cover where I was weakest.

Bringing this all back to The Last Dance, whilst I don’t know basketball as a sport well enough, from what I saw Dennis Rodman was the team player that Michael Jordan needed to cover the skills that wasn’t his strongest with the goal being that Michael Jordan’s strengths where then utilised to the max and as a result of that the team won championships.

Hiring people with a different skill set will help you win long term and I am happy to admit that at first I never realised this. The set-up I have now gives me the ability to scale up my strengths and to do the things I enjoy most, the creative process. I have a manager who covers the commercial activity and access to videographers and photographers that cover the execution of concepts I create. Worth adding that this isn’t all binary in that not everyone’s role stays in that one line. The beauty of a team is that people start to bring good ideas to other parts of the process and all in all everyone helps everyone. You suddenly start to find that all areas of the business are enhanced.

Michael Jordan highlights that in order to achieve things you can’t do everything yourself. You have to trust others and you have to distribute the tasks effectively that are necessary to reach the achievements. The better you distribute the tasks the more successful you will be in reaching the achievement.

One final thing to add here is that I’ve also come to realise that you don’t onboard talent with skill sets to then tell them what to do. That is a one way ticket to being inefficient and not utilising people’s talents. I’ve seen a Steve Jobs quote when I was looking at this topic and it’s a great one to end today’s post – “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.

Take care and stay safe

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