Play To Win 🏆

How This 6x NBA Champion Wins & How You Can Too

What does it take to win?

As a competitive gymnast for ten years, this is a question I asked myself every single day. Like other champions, I soon discovered that the first and most important part of winning is actually believing you can. This simple sentiment is surprisingly difficult for people to master. How can you believe you’re going to win when there are so many other people that won’t hesitate to point out the difficulty or impossibility of winning? Here’s the thing…

There will always been critics, naysayers, and doubters. But If you want it badly enough, you learn how to take these voices and turn them into even greater sources of motivation to win.

If there’s one team that learned how to win, it’s the Chicago Bulls. Known as one of the NBA's greatest dynasties, the Bulls won six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. The Bulls are the only NBA team to win multiple championships while never losing an NBA Finals series in their history. 

This week’s guest on Leadership with Lisa podcast is Bill Cartwright. He is a former Chicago Bulls Player and Head Coach. He played 16 seasons for the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics, and helped the Bulls capture three consecutive championships.

You will learn:

  • How to have a winning mindset at any stage in life

  • The importance of appreciating your teammates and coaches

  • The untold story of The Chicago Bulls in Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ Documentary


🎧 Listen on: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

Highlights From The Episode

On Leadership

Lisa Carmen: How do you define leadership?

Bill: I think that to become a leader you have to be you have to be an Indian, and then you have to be a Chief. It's really knowing the job and then it's doing what's necessary to get that job done. 

Leadership is all about whoever you're around -- whether you're around one person, or if you're around ten people -- understanding their job, understanding how they feel, and then understanding how they are best suited to do that job. The last thing that is really tricky is giving people appreciation for that job. It really doesn't matter how big it is or small it is, you've got to have that acknowledgement.

On The Last Dance Documentary

Lisa Carmen: What was your view on the Last Dance Documentary? It seems like you felt like they didn't tell the story of the team of everyone else who wasn't Michael Jordan.

Bill: Well, let's think about it this way: The six years I played there, I had 30+ different teammates that made up our championship teams. That's the real story. The genius of the organization is that we had all these different great players. We had a great coaching staff, and we had players who came in and were willing to play their role for the betterment of the team. It’s a great story. It's a positive story that kind of gets overlooked sometimes with all of the drama that happened on the floor. But the story itself was positive. And, you know, the results of that was a great championship.

On What It Takes To Win

Lisa Carmen: What do you think it is that separates the winners from the losers at the end of the day? 

bI think it's an understanding that you can win. I still believe that there's people out there who for whatever reason they don't believe they can win. They don't believe it and they do pretty good. Like I said, I'm a guy from Oak Grove High School, what am I doing playing in the NBA? But I've always got a sense that there is something out there and it's possible, and I could do it. There's nobody really bounding me but myself, which is a lesson I've learned here at the university system. Nothing bounds you other than your own thoughts. I think there’s people who don’t have that mentality, and they’ve never been told “You could win! You could be a champion!” If you’re not in that atmosphere, you’ve never been coached, you don’t have a positive influence, why would you know? But once they do find out, they’re released to their potential. 

Women We Admire 🔥

  • Lauren Simmons for being the youngest ever female trader on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2017 when she joined Rosenblatt Securities at 22 years old, she was also just the second African American female trader in NYSE history. Though she’s grateful for her experience on the trading floor, the now 25-year-old says it’s long overdue for the financial industry to “stop making plans” about diversity and inclusion and “just do it.”

  • Sophia Chang and Romy Samuel for launching their female-focused e-commerce project Common Ace. The online marketplace, which launched May 15, aggregates sneakers to one place and gives women a chance to shop with variety. “I truly believe there isn’t a better time to start new projects. The world needs to see women and people in general doing new things regardless of the circumstances, to constantly be inspired,” Samuel said. 

  • Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Bezos unveil $30M gender equality initiative, The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will award grants to organizations with ideas to expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. by 2030. It is part of a broader $1 billion equality initiative from Pivotal Ventures, the nonprofit launched by Gates in 2015.

  • Emily Warren Roebling for being the female engineer and project manager on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband fell ill. “I don’t think that the Brooklyn Bridge would be standing were it not for her,” said Erica Wagner, the author of “Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, the Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge,” a biography of Emily Roebling’s husband.

Greetings from Texas!

As some of you may know, I have been in Austin for the last few months. It has been a really great way to focus, do deep work, and also create space to allow new perspectives come into my life.

What new perspectives have you gained about yourself and the world during this time?

Would love to hear from you!

Lisa Carmen Wang, Founder, The GLOW // Connect on LinkedIn.