The Last Dance is a documentary on Netflix centred around Michael Jordan and the historic Chicago Bulls franchise. The documentary details the successes of the Bulls franchise - one of the greatest franchises in sports history and Michael Jordan’s instrumental role in this franchise. An emotional and inspirational watch, each episode touches on different parts of the Bulls team / Jordan story and the challenges which faced along the road of success.
Even though the episodes are centred around basketball, there are many things that we can take away from it and apply to our everyday lives. In this post are 6 major keys that we can take away from The Last Dance, when it comes to us in our careers and our lives in general.
1. Work ethic is so important
If there’s anything we can take away from the documentary, it’s that Michael Jordan’s work ethic was incredible. His sheer presence motivated and elevated the people around him. He was someone that didn’t rest on his laurels and constantly looked to push himself to the next level. He surrounded himself with people that forced him to consistently elevate and improve as a player and for us, we should look to do the same as we aim to be our best versions of ourselves.
2. You need people to do the jobs outside your skillset
As great as Michael Jordan was, he couldn’t win the championships he won, alone. He had a great supporting cast of teammates along the way which helped carry the load and that he could defer to to make key baskets and plays which allowed them to win certain important games.
Michael Jordan had the likes of Scottie Pippen who he formed an amazing partnership with, then Dennis Rodman who was a defensive monster who enjoyed doing the dirty work that others didn’t enjoy doing. Then there were key players along the Bulls run like Horace Grant, John Paxton, BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr etc who played their roles. Even Phil Jackson as a coach had a tremendous impact on the Bulls players, not just as players but as individuals as well. His coaching methods helped the players in his system to be better and was vital in them achieving the levels of success they achieved.
You won't be able to do everything yourself and having people around you that you can count on to take on the work that is outside the remit of what you do best, that can put you in the best position to win because the load is off you. Michael Jordan learnt that and by leaning on the people around him, this was the cornerstone of him and the Chicago Bulls' biggest successes as a team.
3. Your mentors are key
The Bulls successes were built all on owners, coaches and trainers as well as the players themselves. Throughout the episodes, there is reference after reference from almost everyone about the various people that they had above them to teach them and give them the game. These are mentors. The positive impact of mentor figures was reflected by many in the Bulls organisation in terms of improvements and results through information being shared and also fostering an environment of growth, responsibility, leadership and accountability also.
4. Be a person of action
Why Michael Jordan’s teammates had so much respect for him was that although he was tough on them, he was also tough on himself. He didn’t ask anyone to do the work that he also didn’t do. He didn’t shy away from responsibility and he embraced it. As a leader he led by example and instead of being someone of all talk, he backed it up with his actions and that is something we can all learn from.
5. You can inspire others by your successes
Michael Jordan’s influence extends to even today and inspires generations of people young and old, then and as much now also. It transcends the sport and into the fabric of society. People that hear the stories and see the visuals are directly inspired or indirectly inspired by others talking about them. This is why we should always strive to achieve the best because by doing so we raise the bar to others about what is possible in their lives also.
6. There will be challenges on your path
Michael Jordan as an individual faces so many obstacles on his path that it wouldn’t have been surprising if he had quite at any point. From being cut from his high school basketball team, to his father’s murder, to the scrutiny he was getting from the media at his peak, it was a testament to his character that he was able to overcome them and keep move forward.
Even with the Bulls and their biggest challenge of overcoming the Detroit Pistons who defeated them time after time, it was all about not allowing the defeats to define them, but working harder than ever before to return stronger so they did eventually beat them which was the mental block they needed to overcome so they could win their first NBA Championship.
The Last Dance is a must see documentary that even if you never watched a basketball game in your life, you’ll be inspired and you’ll take something away from hearing the personal stories of some of the people involved. I highly recommend that you go and watch it today.
Written by Tonte Bo Douglas (@TalkWithTonte) - http://www.tontebodouglas.com/