Bobby Knight has coached Michael Jordan on the 1984 US Olympic team. He knew what Jordan could do. So when Knight talked to a friend of his who worked for the Portland Trailblazers, he strongly advised his friend to choose Michael Jordan in the upcoming NBA draft.
Knight’s friend protested that Portland had a stinger need for a center than a shooting guard, Michael’s position.
“Play Jordan at center.”
Portland didn’t heed Knight’s advice. Michael Jordan went to the Chicago Bulls instead.
Knight knew all too well what Portland didn’t know: Jordan would make everything — including playing center if needed — his game, if that’s what the team needed. And although he never played center in his career, I don’t doubt that he would have if that’s what it took to win. And that dedication is why many regard MJ as the greatest.
If you’re a leader, your game isn’t the position you wish to play or the corner office or how much vacation time you’re getting. Your game is one thing: whatever the team needs to succeed.
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