Daily Spark: Are You Ready for that Last Dance?

May 18, 2020

"Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen." - Michael Jordan

michael jordan the last danceThe Last Dance series has been airing and actually just finished up on ESPN. It has been a great series and reminder of just how competitive Michael Jordan the player was and also how relentless he was as a leader in bringing others along to win, sometimes even against their will.

Jordan was an icon and the Bulls were a dynasty when I was younger. I understood it from a sports perspective and as a fan of the game. Even though I wasn't a Bulls fan, like many, you wanted to "be like Mike" on the court or on the field in sports. A winner, a leader, and a competitor.

As I got older and into business, you realized the same mindset and competitiveness carries over not only in business but in life as well. Your mindset and your will can be everything if you allow it and mold it to be so. Jordan overcame numerous obstacles in his career, and his personal kaizen nature to constantly be growing and improving to win was second to none and still is.

I read the book Relentless a few years back by Jordan's trainer, Tim Grover, and learned about the concept of cleaners, closers, and coolers, with Jordan being the epitome of a cleaner. Kobe Bryant (RIP), also trained with Grover and was known for the same competitive, constantly improving mindset as a cleaner, someone who does whatever is necessary to accomplish their goals and elevates everyone around them to their level and helping them do it. The nature of never being satisfied for a cleaner is inspiring and the book is a great read. 

Jordan was the ultimate cleaner and indeed relentless. The Last Dance was done well to remind us of not only how good he was but even those around him. Scottie Pippen was as good a #2 supporting player as you could ask for and some of the role players as well as Phil Jackson the coach were all needed in get those championships. But without the cleaner himself, Jordan, none if any of it unfolds the same way.

The series was a good reminder to check the mindset. Are you acting like a cleaner or a cooler? Are you thinking relentless or being passive? The series is also a great beacon to youth today who didn't get to see Jordan in his prime - that is what it takes to be a true, long term sustained champion. If you haven't seen it, highly recommend checking it out. Well worth the time to watch and learn.

Stay uncomfortable and always improving. 

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