March madness has ended. Baseball is in full swing. Several sports, including hockey and pro basketball are entrenched in their playoffs. You ask, what does that have to do with keeping promises?
Well, in a bold move at the beginning of the season, Michael Jordan, the Chairman and CEO of the Charlotte Bobcats published a full page letter in the Charlotte Observer on October 24, 2010. In the letter Jordan stated his commitment to fans to keep a line of communication open so they can react to the changes he made to the franchise. He claimed the team and the organization are better than any one player or any one employee. Further, he claimed that Dean Smith’s teams at the University of North Carolina won because they played as one. Jordan adopted the mantra: Win as One.
I found this interesting and commendable. I like team concepts. I like team spirit and I like success and giving credit to the team. At TCL, the team I play for, I value those who view us as a team. Teams give it their best. In the long season, we will have victories that we celebrate and we will have some defeats. We have fans who support us, and we need to develop a huge fan base, and we owe them our best. Frankly, it’s part of our accountability to the community and most importantly, our students.
Winning at TCL occurs on so many fronts. Winning can be accomplished by giving a wayward student directions to her or his next class. Wining means helping a classmate understand a difficult concept. Winning can be as simple as correcting errors or an assignment or suggesting ways to improve one’s writing or overall communication. Winning is all about getting a job after one graduates. Winning goes beyond the arena where people watch passively. Winning means accepting botched plays or turnovers in the spirit that we all learn from mistakes.
The Charlotte Bobcats did not make it to the playoffs this year. Truly, it’s a very competitive environment. It’s also a business, one that fits nicely into the entertainment industry. Michael Jordan knows what it takes to win. His day will come in Charlotte. Our day at TCL is here. We are not in a scrimmage. It’s time to get serious about helping students succeed because the full court press requires us to see our students through to graduation, which is the ultimate win. Our stretch goal is to see our students secure and keep a job. That’s what it’s all about.
Our promise to our students is providing opportunities. We will coach you, and hopefully as active players, our students will work hard to navigate the demands and rigor of the curricula. The reward comes when we all work hard as a team. Our promise, like Mr. Jordan’s, is we will win as one.