Even celebrity business owners need to surround themselves with people who bring different perspectives — and are willing to disagree with them, when necessary. A recent Washington Post article about former basketball superstar Michael Jordan makes this point loud and clear.
The 49-year-old Jordan has many business ventures, including a steakhouse in New York and two more restaurants in Chicago. Nike’s Jordan Brand is bigger than ever. He owns a motorcycle racing team, has a car dealership in Durham, North Carolina, and is still a popular celebrity endorser.
Yet the game’s greatest player also is one of its most curious franchise owners. Two years ago, he became the majority owner of the struggling Charlotte Bobcats, who have a 7-47 record right now. Before the Bobcats, he was an executive with the Washington Wizards, where he had a brief stint that the Washington Post describes as “dismal.”
According to the article, both friends and critics say one of Jordan’s biggest faults has been surrounding himself with people who are eager to think like him — at least on the management side.
“I don’t know if he has hired enough people around him who he will listen to,” his friend Charles Barkley, the former NBA star, recently said on ESPN radio. “One thing about being famous is the people around you. You pay all their bills so they very rarely disagree with you because they want you to pick up the check. They want to fly around on your private jet so they never disagree with you.”
Jordan could be starting to look at things differently, however. Prior to this season, he finally expanded his inner circle to include an outsider: General Manager Rich Cho, who had the same position in Portland, Oregon.
Here’s the full Washington Post article for those who might like to read it.