Basketball legend Magic Johnson has made a success of his career as a business owner and investor. But it didn’t come easy or naturally. One of the mentors he credits with imparting priceless lessons is Creative Artists Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz. When Magic was just about to embark on a career in business, the legendary Hollywood agent told Magic that he’d never become any better than the people around him.
This made sense to Magic, and the next day he fired his entire staff. Magic detailed this recently at a speech delivered to the Association for Corporate Growth in Las Vegas, showing the audience by placing his hand at chest height and saying “my team could take me here” and then raising his hand to head level and saying “but they couldn’t take me to here.”
So he fired them and rebuilt with a better team. The rest, as they say, is history. Magic convinced Starbucks to become his partner in urban areas, with winning results. He then purchased a Medicaid services company in Florida for $70 million, later selling to Athena for close to $1 billion.
When you think about your management team, are you being served with maximum results?
Will they take you as far as you want to go?
The rules of work have changed. The new order of work, called talent on demand, places excellent leadership at the beck and call of company owners, boards and investors for short or long-term success. Gone are the days where a decision about bringing on better talent always meant a conversation about permanent hires and permanent increases to overhead and benefits, severance and risk of poor chemistry. The owner’s ability to upgrade their team is now no further away than the decision to engage.