I can remember back to 1984 like it was yesterday. 1984 brought the birth of our first son, Jordan, and I very clearly recall conversations with Miss regarding our (her’s really) choice of name. My only concern with naming him Jordan Michael was around people thinking we were naming him after this rookie basketball player by the name of Michael Jordan. I remember telling Miss this Jordan dude was just a rookie but he looked like the real deal. We laughed and chose to name our baby as planned.
I’m reading a book at the moment titled Relentless, by Tim Grover. Turns out ole Grover got famous training none other than Michael Jordan back in the day. Grover’s training techniques are not the focus of the book, instead, he focuses on what he learned about the minds of the elite over the years of training such greats as MJ, Kobe, and D. Wade – Talk about a big three, huh. I’m almost finished with the book and haven’t agreed with much of it. However, there has been great learning throughout. My favorite has to be a couple paragraphs on page 136. Grover describes one of the worst draft decisions in the NBA. Yup, the year was 1984 and Portland was debating the second pick. It came down, in their mind, between Sam Bowie and MJ. So, knowing legendary coach Bob Knight was coaching MJ that summer on the USA Olympic team, Portland called Knight and asked who he suggested they take in the upcoming draft. I had never heard this convo took place and couldn’t believe how ccd it came down. Here’s what Grover included in his book. Check it out.
“Take Jordan,” said Knight. “Right,” said Portland, “but we need a center.” “Play him at center,” Knight said.
Portland took Bowie. Chicago, picking third, took MJ.
Here’s my extrapolation to you and me. When it comes to picking talent, remember our wiring defaults to overly thinking about what someone can’t do, instead of what they can. What the best systems do is figure what someone can do and put them in a position to play to these strengths. Portland overly fixated on what they didn’t have (quality big man) and missed on a once in forever, game changing kinda talented guard. Of course there are thousands of nuances to your hiring practices. Finding the rare, game changing kinda talent, however, requires you to overly look for someone with incredible strengths that your system can exploit and expand. Don’t make the mistake of filling a need while missing an MJ. Slow down and sit with this one for awhile.
Focus on game changing kinda strength. Good…