It's been a dramatic few weeks for Lakers fans.
In last month's unprecedented organizational restructuring, Lakers President and Co-Owner Jeanie Buss removed Executive Vice President (and brother) Jim Buss, as well as General Manager Mitch Kupchak, before installing former NBA superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson as President of Basketball Operations.
What's since unfolded is a family drama, the likes of which daytime television writers would be hard pressed to outdo, complete with an unsuccessful courtroom coup and a restraining order.
Festering familial grudges aside, the question on everyone's mind is whether Johnson, a retired NBA all-star with no front office experience, will have what it takes to turn the team around after an incurable, years-long losing streak.
With his streak of successful off-court endeavors as an indicator, Lakers fans should remain hopeful. Here's why.
He Understands His Audience
A distinguished public speaker, Johnson has built his brand around empathizing with the people he works with and understanding his target demographics.
One thing Johnson has always done remarkably well is to understand his customers and exceed their expectations--a skill that will serve him well in his new role as he not only builds a winning team, but earns the trust of the team's loyal fan base.
For example, when working with Starbucks to open 105 new locations in urban areas, Johnson suggested strategic changes to the menu and store soundtrack that would help attract black and latino customers, resulting in a wildly profitable buyout.
He Tells Stories
Johnson has attributed his business success in part to his ability to tell stories. As he tells it, storytelling facilitates leadership on a personal level, and better explains who you are and why you hold such high expectations.
Effective and transparent communication will be essential to his new role as the team attempts to recover from both an on-court losing streak and fraught media narrative.
He Knows That Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
As a bonafide basketball legend, Johnson understands the importance of assembling a team with the right on-court chemistry. He prioritizes that same productive team dynamic in managing his businesses.
"When you are a successful businessperson, you are only as good as your team," Johnson told Inc.
"No one can do every deal alone. I make sure that I have people who want to win, who are about winning, who are competitors, and that understand the brand and how to grow the brand."
Prior to Rob Pelinka's appointment as the Lakers' new General Manager, Johnson was asked about the hiring process. He insisted that the decision would be handled by the entire management team:
"I think with Jeanie, myself, that person, Jesse [Buss], Joey [Buss], Ryan West and his scouting team, Coach [Luke] Walton, we'll come up with the right answer. It's going to be all of us working together, in communication with each other."
"That's how I built my organizations, and that's how I'll build this one, too. We just want to win -- for the players and our fans."