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What Michael Jordan, Warren Buffet and Alexander the Great have in Common? The Necessity of Lifelong Learning, Coaching and mentorship.

By February 10, 2020 No Comments

While reading about the biographies of high performing individuals, Logia’s apprentice associate, Gabriel Olver, gained a new appreciation for the necessity of lifelong learning, coaching, and mentorship. In 2019 he read the biographies of three famous individuals who excelled in their respective fields. Here are his notes on these successful leaders:

  • Warren Buffet: Self-made billionaire investor
  • Michael Jordan: Greatest basketball player of all time
  • Alexander the Great: Ancient Greek Mesopotamian ruler who conquered all of Persia during his reign

While each story was vastly different, Gabriel noted that all three shared common habits that contributed to the success in their respective fields. Each individual invested in continuous learning and encountered coaches/mentors that accelerated their success.

Continuous Learning

A habit of continuous self-learning was the first shared habit I noticed. As a youth, Warren Buffet read every book on investing in his public library. Decades later this commitment to reading did not disappear. Even into his 80’s Buffet has been known to read 500 pages a day. When asked about this Buffet quoted the phrase “the more you learn, the more you earn”. While on campaign Alexander would bring along a travelling library for his research, strategy formulation. While in university Michael Jordan spend hours watching film on his own after practice to improve his craft.

Coaches and Mentors

Aside from reading. These three also invested in learning from coaches and mentors. Warren Buffet was mentored by Benjamin Graham. Graham was a successful investor, economist professor known as the father of value investing. Graham taught Buffet many lessons on investing and authored one of his favorite books: The Intelligent Investor.
Alexander the Great was taught as a teen by the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle. For Seven years Aristotle held the post as royal tutor until Alexander ascended the throne. The famous philosopher taught Alexander a variety of subjects and imparted the teaching of his own mentor Plato. By the time Alexander took the throne, he had a sharpened mind which proved invaluable in planning and executing his famous conquest.

The foundations of Michael Jordan’s success in the NBA was created through the efforts of his university head coach Dean Smith. In one speech Michael Stated that “Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher and a second father”. Michael respected his coach’s knowledge of the game and allowed himself to be a sponge to take in as many lessons as possible during his university career. In the NBA Michael was coached by Phil Jackson. When questioned about Michael’s greatest attributes Phil listed “coachable” as one of Michaels’s key qualities. This commitment to learning from other who know more than you greatly contributed to his success and legendary legacy.

Key Insights

Each of these three individuals valued seeking out and learning from coaches and mentors to achieve their goals. Let us apply this lesson and audit our own lives. Are we taking the time to learn something new each day however small it may be? Are we seeking out those who can coach and mentor us towards our personal and professional goals? Let’s take the time to go to bed a little wiser each day.

David Smith

Author David Smith

B.Comm, CMC, ACC, RPM. Principal, Logia Consulting Inc. “emPOWERING Leaders... with Human Capital Consulting, Coaching and Training” [email protected] 306.373.1998

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