Keynote: Magic is the result of over-preparation and over-delivering to customers

During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed auditorium at ProMat 2017 that his athletic accomplishments were nothing compared to the success of his employees and scholarship recipients.

<p>Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed auditorium at ProMat 2017 that his athletic accomplishments were nothing compared to the success of his employees and scholarship recipients</p>

Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed auditorium at ProMat 2017 that his athletic accomplishments were nothing compared to the success of his employees and scholarship recipients

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During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed auditorium at ProMat 2017 that his athletic accomplishments were nothing compared to the success of his employees and scholarship recipients.

Johnson’s basketball career is studded with NBA championship victories and unbroken records, but he did not hesitate to place his achievements on the court behind his impact on the lives of minorities. Since his retirement in 1996, he has amassed several business successes that have allowed him and Magic Johnson Enterprises to employ more than 50,000 people and to reward scholarships to more than 10,000 minority students.

“To send them off to college, or to know they have a job and can provide for their families,” he said as he waved off his legendary athletic career, “that is my greatest achievement.”

Johnson offered advice to the audience as they navigate rapidly changing technology and an ultra-competitive business environment.

“I always over-prepared, both as a basketball player and a businessman,” he said. “In both cases, it is so important to develop a strategy and execute it. But the most important thing is to over-deliver to customers. They have lots of options, so it’s not enough to just deliver. If you always think of them first, that’s how you will get the retention you want.”

In his newest role as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, he is faced with challenges similar to those faced by employers throughout the supply chain. Efforts to grow the workforce of tomorrow must begin at a very young age, he said, and should emphasize STEM disciplines.

“It’s going to take time,” he said. “I know what talent looks like. I know what winning looks like. But as competitive as I am, I’m willing to be patient to build the right team.”

Johnson also stressed the value of SWOT analysis twice a year, and said every business should routinely evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. More than 25 years after he publicly announced he was HIV positive, Johnson has intimate experience with each.

“First I had to make a mental adjustment and embrace my new reality,” he said. “But I always kept a positive attitude. I always knew I was going to be around a long time.”


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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