This leads me to why I chose my leader to talk about in this paper. Michael Jordan to me is one of favorite leaders, not only because of the fact that he was the best basketball player to ever play the sport, having earned six world championships with the Chicago Bulls and earning many records during his time playing, but because of how charismatic he was on and off the court. Michael Jordan’s leadership qualities come from more than the skills he displayed on the court, he is a natural born leader, charismatic, has great character and has accomplished more than most.
Michael Jordan was born on February 17th, 1963 in Brooklyn New York to his mother Doris and his father James. As a young child Michael Jordan moved to North Carolina, where they lived out in the country, almost completely isolated from the rest of the world. This is why Jordan’s dad put up two basketball hoops in the back yard and this is where Michael could always be found. He didn’t care that the court he was playing on was dirt, or what started off as grass. Michael spent so much time playing basketball there that almost all of the grass was gone in two weeks. Michael played against his older brothers all the time who were bigger, faster and stronger, but no matter how bad they beat him, Michael never showed any sign of disappointment.
This actually is what drove him to practice harder and much longer than they did, he knew he had to in order to be able to beat them eventually even though they were older. It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Jordan finally won a game against his older brothers. But even still, only standing at 5’11 as a sophomore Michael Jordan did not make varsity and had to play on the junior varsity team. This drove him to work even harder because he was fully confident that he could play with the older kids. Every single day after his normal basketball practice, Michael would go home and worked on his game even more, day in and day out. This drive and determination helped him get on the varsity team the next two years. He went on to average 25 points a game his junior and senior year at Laney High School in North Carolina.
Michael’s senior year he received the nomination to play in the McDonalds All American Team. Also during his senior season Michael was offered a full ride scholarship by North Carolinas coach Dean Smith to play for the Tar Heels. With Jordan having such a competitive edge, motivation, charisma, and drive he was able to become the most important player on their team, and a strong leader for the players around him. During his time at North Carolina, Michael Jordan led his team to victory in the NCAA Division 1 championship in 1982, when he scored a buzzer beater against Georgetown University to win. Michael Jordan was also recognized as NCAA College Player of the Year in 1983 and again in 1984. Jordan also made his way to his first appearance at the Olympics as a member of the men’s U.S.
Olympic basketball team. Jordan was able to help the team win the gold medal and again in the 1993 Olympic Games. After his junior year of college, Jordan was drafted by the NBA. In his first season he averaged 28.2 points and helped his team make it to the playoffs that year also. Because of the amount of effort Jordan put in his rookie season, he was elected as he NBA rookie of the rear and was also selected to play in the all-star game that year. From there, Jordan won 6 championships, was elected the MVP 6 different years, and made the Bulls team a force to be reckoned with.
Most people when they hear Michael Jordan’s name they automatically think of him as the best basketball player that ever lived that could jump out of the gym. This all may be true but Michael Jordan understood what team concepts are, had an extreme amount of drive, and he showed a lot of passion. Michael Jordan’s leadership, ability, motivation, and sheer determination gave him the ability to rise to every situation. Michael could have averaged 40 points a game simply because he was the best player on the court but that was not what he wanted to do. Michael was committed to establishing team goals, and doing everything he possibly could to make his teammates better.
Michael Jordan also displayed enthusiasm even during the worst parts of his career, which brought a positive energy to everyone around him. I believe that this is his strongest quality as a leader because he used his energy to rally everyone around him, and make them believe that they can do whatever they want to. Michael Jordan always focused on turning his weaknesses into strengths, which made him a better player and a better leader not only for his team, but for fans and everyone around him. He displayed himself as a perfect role model for a leader because of this. Jordan thrived off of things he couldn’t do, and it only made him want it more or work harder and to be a leader and role model for everyone around him, even if they didn’t play basketball.
Michael Jordan understood the importance of teamwork and used a directive leadership style to help bring out the best in his teammates. This is because he was the best, and everyone knew that which made them want to follow him because they believed in him, but he was not narcissistic about his power as a leader and never let that get to his head. As a leader, he understood the importance of teamwork and always put the best interests of the team before his own. Jordan also displayed much of his transformational leadership charisma with his work ethic. He was known for always giving his best on and off the court.
He wanted to represent himself as a role model for people around him to help others thrive off of his hard work ethic and make them better. Michael Jordan also carried himself with such a high demeanor on and off the basketball court which helped him become a good leader. Michael Jordan never boasted about being the best or all of his accomplishments, but instead he lead everyone by example. Michael Jordan also displayed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm which helped his teammates like him more, and be more attracted and wanting to be like him. The last thing that Michael Jordan displayed that makes him stand out as a leader was due to the fact that he has humility. Michael Jordan’s coach, Phil Jackson said “After Michael Retires, I only hope that the young player will be influence by Michael’s demeanor and by his sense of unselfish competitiveness. More than his championships rings, I hope this will be Michaels Legacy.” (Phil Jackson)
Although many people still wouldn’t consider Michael Jordan as a true leader, but for someone like me who played college basketball and wanted to get to the top like him, he was a great leader. Jordan has not been playing in the league for many years now, and everyone knows who he is, and almost everyone has owned a pair of Jordan shoes in their life. Michael Jordan was a leader because he never gave up, directed those around him, led by example, showed a great demeanor and work ethic, and he understood the roles and talents that he had and was humbled by all of the opportunities he was given. He was supportive of everyone around them, and wanted everyone to succeed, and to me, that is a perfect representation of what a true leader is.