Like so many people, I have been glued to The Last Dance documentary about Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls being shown on ESPN right now.
In a world without live sports because of the ongoing pandemic, to watch a show about a living legend and a dynasty that won six championship in eight years is a wonderful distraction about a simpler time when our how our idols played on the court is what captured our imagination.
That said, I am not going to write about what you can learn from Michael Jordan in this column. Instead, I'd like to point out that if you are watching the documentary, you can learn the most from the general manager of the Chicago Bulls team, Jerry Krause. You can learn how ego and jealousy can overcome talent and leave you alone and wanting.
Jerry Krause was excellent at his job. He traded for former player Scottie Pippen from a tiny college. He added players John Paxson and then Steve Kerr. He hired and then fired Doug Collins and hired Phil Jackson. He brought on Dennis Rodman and Jack Haley. The list goes on. He was a very good general manager.
But, like too many managers in business, he wanted the credit.
When the star salespeople crush it, the best managers, directors, or vice presidents lets the salesperson enjoy their moment. They accomplished it. Did the manager help? Yes. Did the manager get them the resources? Yes. Did the manager work with a delivery team to help? Yes. But then who gets the credit? The salesperson.
You don't want to be a 'Jerry Krause manager,' or someone who always wants to be included or always want a thank you.
As leaders, when you do your job because you care about your people and you love it, and then see achievements as a result, you will get plenty of accolades. People know. They always do.
When you believe you are bigger than the people doing the work, that is when you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You may not have the skill to be Jordan, but you should have the emotional intelligence to never be Jerry Krause.