Magic Johnson Captivates, Connects: Onsite Coverage
LOS ANGELES – NBA legend, television commentator, entrepreneur and major-league baseball owner. Charming, engaging, intelligent and articulate. These are all words that describe Magic Johnson.
However, one word sums it up: Winner. That much was clear during Johnson’s keynote address at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH conference at the JW Marriott in the L.A. Live entertainment complex.
Johnson spent the better part of an hour roaming the aisles, sharing many stories of his success – and occasionally stopping to allow attendees to take a selfie with him. But 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.”
Despite being the only rookie to have ever won the NBA Finals MVP award, Johnson told the audience 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.
The message to credit unions: No matter how good you think you are, you can always learn something from your peers. Actively seek collaboration.
“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 told 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.
Translation: Know your customer, and make adjustments accordingly.
Competition is everywhere, Johnson said. And many of those competitors are solid, well-run companies. “Today it’s not enough to deliver,” he told the audience. “Today, you have to over-deliver. And not just sometimes. All the time.”