First, a huge disclaimer.
I don’t work in the NBA. I have no connections to anyone in the Golden State Warriors, True Love Worship Center International, or any of Mark Jackson’s previous employers. But I do know office politics when I see them. And I know pastors. And I love to follow the postmodern soap opera of NBA coaching. And I’m confident saying that in the final year of his contract, Mark Jackson made a living dancing along the combustible intersection of all three cultural fault lines – and it eventually blew up in his face.
For anyone who’d been following the saga of Jackson and the Golden State Warriors, the firing did not come as a shock. It barely even qualified as news. People saw this coming for months, perhaps even the entire season. On the surface, there are plenty of reasons why his stint as coach didn’t last longer than the three seasons in his contract, and when the news broke, capable analysts like CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole did a great job of breaking down the sports-related reasons. And TrueHoop’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss provided a great overview of the duality of Jackson’s tenure, highlighting his strengths and weaknesses.
But I think if you look past the obvious stuff, there are some hidden lessons here. My sense, armchair quarterbacking though it may be, is that Mark Jackson is an excellent motivator, but his tenure was shipwrecked in three areas, and anyone who wants to be successful should heed them. These lessons are important for anyone who wants to be an effective basketball coach.
But for pastors, these lessons are absolutely critical.
Lesson #1: You can’t ignore the business side of things.
When I was considering launching a business-related venture with a friend of mine who owns his own business, one of the first things that he said to me was that if I was going to be successful, I would have two separate learning curves – learning to do the thing I wanted to be the best at, and also learning how to do it as a business. No matter what the business is, there are a whole set of skills related to how to bring it to market, find and retain customers, execute deliverables, and build a client or customer base, that are separate from the skills of being a good baker, attorney, musician, architect, or whatever.
From what I can see, Mark Jackson viewed his role as a basketball coach as completely separate and irrelevant from the business side of the Warriors organization. And while I think it’s healthy to have a certain amount of specialization so that people can concentrate on what they’re good at, in order for an organization to be successful, everyone needs a clear understanding of how their role fits into the larger whole, and I’m not sure if Mark Jackson and the upper management side were ever on the same page.
Source: Urban Faith | Editor John