Magic Johnson shares his key to success in post-basketball businesses


magic-johnsonSince retiring from the NBA, Magic Johnson has shown that he is just as good of a business man as he was a player on the court.

Johnson delivered a speech recently at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH conference in Los Angeles, where he spoke on a range of issues, CreditUnion Times reported.

Aside from taking selfies with the guests, Johnson also shared some of his success stories.

His message wasn’t a self-serving, “this is what I did.” It was, instead, “this is how you can learn from what I did and apply it to running your credit union.”

Johnson in particular recalled his first NBA season. Despite being the only rookie to have ever won the NBA Finals MVP award, Johnson admitted that at the time he wasn’t satisfied.

“I wasn’t too happy with myself,” he told the crowd. “I knew I could go to another level.”

So he reached out to teammates Byron Scott and Michael Cooper to help him with his jump shot. He subsequently had his best year ever and won league MVP.

“Self-evaluation is the most difficult thing,” Johnson said. “How can you be honest with yourself?”

He told the group that to reach the next level, each credit union needs to understand its strengths and weaknesses. For this reason, he recommended a semi-annual SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, a practice he claimed keeps his many enterprises on track.

“I look for people who are smarter than I am,” Johnson said on the topic of executive recruitment. He said he understands that he doesn’t have all the skills and knowledge necessary to run his many businesses, so he always seeks to build the strongest team possible.

Johnson also shared a story of how he was able to partner with Starbucks to bring that coffee chain into more urban areas.

Previously, Starbucks was under the belief that its format wouldn’t appeal to city dwellers. However, by making only minor changes to the menu, as well as piping in more contemporary music, he made the Magic Johnson/Starbucks partnership a tremendous success.

“Competition is everywhere, and many of those competitors are solid, well-run companies,” Johnson said.

“Today it’s not enough to deliver. Today, you have to over-deliver, and not just sometimes, all the time.”

Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.

He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. He played in 906 NBA games, holding career averages of 19.5 ppg, 11.2 apg and 7.2 rpg in 36.7 minutes per game.

Johnson was a member of the “Dream Team”, the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. He also is a 5-time NBA Champion.


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