• Jordan Lewis

5 traits that made Michael Jordan the best in the world

After finishing ‘The Last Dance’, I have identified 5 traits that made Michael Jordan the best in the world.

The Last Dance

‘The Last Dance’, for me, is masterful. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it already. It contains some huge lessons and insights into the mindset, actions and life of someone as successful as MJ, and the Chicago Bulls as a team overall. Whether you love Michael Jordan or hate him, he is without a doubt one of, if not the single greatest basketball player of all time. During his time, he led the Chicago Bulls to win 6 championships, scored over 32,292 points and secured his place in the Basketball hall of fame.

But what made him so successful? The episodes of the show reveal various elements of his personality, as well as his attitude towards the game and his team that made him truly stand out, and is one of the huge reasons for his team's massive success in the ’90s. After watching the show, I have identified 5 traits of MJ that made him the success he was, that you can adapt and use in your own life, to become as successful in whatever you are passionate about.


MJ is extremely focused. He set his sights on one mission, winning championships. He worked relentlessly every day to make this happen. He would often spend 4 hours a day, every day for months practising the same shot over and over. Before securing his first championship, he rarely partied - his teammates often described him as ‘Not Human’. There are reports of Jordan flat out refusing to go anywhere near alcohol and recreational drugs at the start of his career, as it would take away from his game.

What is your big vision for your life, what is it you want to succeed in? Take the time to seriously ask yourself whether something you are doing is getting you closer to this goal. Make a list and remove anything from your life that isn’t getting you to the future you want.

Make it personal

Before, during, or even after a game, other players may gloat or trash talk. Jordan took this personally and used it to drive him, and ultimately bring him the victory. No matter how small, he would internalise it as a huge slight, enough to focus and refine him to win. In one case, he even made up a story that another player said something to motivate himself. He later admitted this was completely fabricated.


Jordan held his team to very high standards, and he expected the best from everyone. But he wasn’t all talk. Everything he asked from his team, he did himself - holding himself to the same standards. The quickest and best way to guarantee success in life is to be surrounded by a network and team that brings value to your life. Once you have this team, hold them, and yourself to incredibly high standards. Expect the best, but never expect or ask anything of your team that you don’t do yourself.

Appreciate others

Playing a team sport, Jordan was surrounded by other team members, such as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr. MJ was a closer, a scorer, a winner. Steve Kerr was the hard worker, always ready to support when he was needed. Dennis Rodman, the legendary defender and Scottie Pippen, the playmaker. He appreciated every team member's value and played them to their strengths. Build a network of valuable people around you and succeed as a unit.

Being present in the moment

Michael Jordan was known for being present in the moment at all times. Unlike other players, he wasn’t away wondering about what would happen if he failed a shot. He lived in the moment, fully experiencing everything around him. This is a key to success, and fully enjoying all that life has to offer. Life will come and go in a blink, what’s the point of working at your goals if you don’t take the time to be present and enjoy the journey as much as the results?

Have you watched ‘The Last Dance’? What lessons did you learn? Get in touch and let me know!