“Winning has a price.  And Leadership has a price.”  Michael Jordan, The Last Dance

Like most of the Western world in lockdown, I’ve been watching ‘The Last Dance’ over the past few weeks.  It’s been a great trip down memory lane.  Who didn’t love the Chicago Bulls in the 90s?  Who didn’t love Michael Jordan, who didn’t want to be like Mike?

I remember taking my kids to Space Jam and enjoying it even more than they did.  Still in my 20s, nevertheless I would still try and do double-pump lay-ups (I’d already learned that I had a white-man’d jumping ability so forget the dunks), imitating MJ and Scottie Pippen in the weekly neighbourhood scratch matches.

But watching Michael Jordan – both then and now – reminds you of the utter focus and dedication it takes to be successful, a real winner, in this world.

The thing is, back in the day I only saw the highlights, the last-second-nothing-but-net game winning shots.  Now, I understand that all that glory doesn’t come for free.  Winning and succeeding has a big, big price, regardless of your field of endeavour.

 

“When people see this, they may say ‘He wasn’t really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.’ Well, that’s you, because you never won anything. I am only doing this because it is who I am.” Michael Jordan, The Last Dance.

 

The true winners are those that not only understand this, but pay it willingly.  They do it even when there are no spotlights – or even, like for most of us – no glory. 

“When people see this, they may say ‘He wasn’t really a nice guy.  He may have been a tyrant.’ Well, that’s you, because you never won anything. I am only doing this because it is who I am.” Michael Jordan, The Last Dance.

Make no mistake – we are headed for more and more difficulty in the business environment in the next few years.  Things will get tougher before they get easier.  

The price of winning just went up. The price of leadership has never been higher as business owners shut down, and now hopefully start to reopen, their businesses. 

The good news is that your ability to pay that price has not changed one bit.  You still have total control over how you spend your day.  You decide whether to make that extra call, to speak to your customers and stakeholders.  You decide whether to grow.

Because the best is yet to come.