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How Michael Jordan influenced me


Michael Jordan, “The Greates Ever” will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.

I remember watching Michael Jordan for the first time when I was 15 years old, watching the Bulls lose against the Orlando Magic in the playoffs when he had just come back from playing baseball. The hype of his comeback was in full force and I was taken by it.

Because of Michael Jordan I started studying and playing basketball. I became so obsessed that I started reading playbooks and more importantly I started to dig deep into Michael Jordan’s thinking.

I wanted to know what made him great. Why was he considered the “Greatest” to ever lace them up.

I was a 15 year old kid and had found a perfect role model to look up to.

10 ways Michael Jordan has influenced me

I found the following things to be key in his thinking and that have influenced me:

  • On earning respect and being a leader:

Nothing of value comes without being earned. That’s 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.

  • On making your rise to the top easier and then being able to maintain your edge:

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“I practice so hard because that makes the game easy for me.”

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“I focus on the little things. Little things add up to big things.”

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  • On having the will to succeed:

“I can accept failure but I can’t accept not trying.”

  • On accepting that some things happen for a reason. You have to move forward:

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  • On setting high expectations for yourself and being consistent on meeting them:

“My expectation was excellence each and every time I stepped on the court. Whether is was practice or game, I was there to win.”

  • On thriving in pressure situations:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

  • On being yourself everyday:

“Michael Jordan isn’t afraid of being Michael Jordan everyday. He never takes a day off.” – Bill Russell

“If others had a negative opinion about something I said or something I did, then that was their opinion. It wasn’t going to affect me.”

“It was the idea somebody might be sitting there who had never seen Michael Jordan play.”

Thanks Michael!