Michael Jordan

Posted: August 18, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

If you feel down about your career or if you know someone who feels that way, take heart from some people who were counted out and still made a name for themselves.

I’m reading the Thom Hartmann Reader, a collection of the radio talk show host writings.  Hartmann notes that Thomas Edison had difficulty in school as a child.  His teachers thought he couldn’t learn.  Edison’s mother taught him at home, and his achievements speak for themselves.

Whatever you think of him (and I’m not a fan), George W. Bush has to be given credit for his accomplishments.  He won two elections and made decisions that will affect this country for years to come.  Many on the left call him an idiot.  His record would make him a very successful idiot.

To give one final example, consider Michael Jordan.  The greatest basketball player of all time was cut from his junior high team.  Jordan didn’t quit, and he made those who doubted him eat their words.

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking or focus on an insult by a supervisor or co-worker.  It’s also deadly to finding a new job or moving forward in a career.  The doubters will always be out there.  Your job is to prove that they are wrong.

Posted: April 29, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

[“Sabbath” is this blog’s Sunday feature that ponders life and work.]

From Perfection to Pain

I didn’t think sports would be my subject again this week.  Last Sunday I attended a great tribute to Japanese-American World War II veterans.  That was going to be my subject – until Derrick Rose made one of his patented, twisting drives to the basket and tore his ACL.

Last week was the joy of sports, a perfect game.  This week, pain.  The meme on sports talk radio is that the Bulls would not win anyway, which is followed up with some cliché about Rose’s future ability to play.  What is ignored in all of this is Derrick Rose, a competitor slightly less fierce than Michael Jordan.  I’ve watched Rose since he was leading Simeon High School to Illinois state championships.  Even as a teenager, he lifted his teammates, made them better, drove them to win.

Rose suffered several injuries this year.  He looked uncomfortable on the bench, impatiently waiting to play again.  Now he faces surgery and rehab.  Will he come back with the same speed and reactions?  Will this injury ruin a promising career, reminding us of names from the past like David Thompson, Bill Walton, and, more recently, Yao Ming?  When an athlete’s body breaks, there is no certainty that a medical treatment can fix it.  I hope Rose comes back as the same player.  He is – the present tense is intentional and hopeful – a joy to watch.

As I’m not giving up on Rose, I’m not giving up on his team.  “They can’t win,” the experts tell us.  These, of course, are the same experts who did not predict the New York Giants’ win in last year’s Super Bowl or the St. Louis Cardinals’ victory in the World Series.  This is LeBron’s year, Kobe’s year, the smart ones tell us.  Maybe it will be, but I’m not giving up on the team that had the most wins in the regular season, many of them coming with Rose on the bench.

The Bulls fight every game.  They don’t have big names as some of their opponents do, but they do the little things like play defense and rebound. That gives me some hope, and I will root for this team until they are knocked out of the playoffs.  Go Bulls!