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Introduction to the Team
The Chicago Bulls is one of the most successful American basketball teams. The team has been playing in the American National Basketball Association (NBA). The basketball team was established in 1966. The team won a total of 72 games during the season (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012). It became the only basketball team in American history to win over 70 games in a single season. According to many analysts, the team left a legacy in the history of the National Basketball Association. The coach of the team during the period was Phil Jackson. The Chicago Bulls team “comprised of award-winning players such as Toni Kukoc, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 9). This essay, therefore, examines the leadership aspects of the Chicago Bulls 1995-96 Championship Team.
Analysis of the Team’s Leadership
The Chicago Bulls 1995-96 Championship Team used a powerful group development strategy (GDS) to emerge successfully. To begin with, the managers of the team identified the right players to support the targeted expectations. Horace Grant “had left the team before the beginning of the season” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 14). This situation forced the managers to hire professional players who could produce the best outcomes. The concept of sustainable performance is critical in every leadership situation. This fact explains why the above team achieved its potentials. The leadership of Phil Jackson made it easier “for Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Michael Jackson to form a powerful triumvirate” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 38).
According to Westerbeek and Smith (2012), basketball had become a controversial sport in the United States. This fact explains why “the sport was always characterized by endless egos, stereotypes, and superstars” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 19). Michael Jordan redefined his philosophy to support the team’s expectations. Michael used “the concept of professional basketball to empower his teammates and friends” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 48). Michael Jordan led the team to a state of self-awareness using his philosophy. Michael Jordan mentored his teammates to achieve the best goals.
Some of these new players included Jack Haley and Dennis Rodman. After joining the team, these individuals embraced the best practices to achieve their ambitions. For instance, Rodman and Jack Haley portrayed the highest level of friendship. This kind of association made it easier for players to work as a team. Phil Jackson used a powerful leadership strategy to make the team successful. Phil Jackson “constructed a powerful team that could find the right meaning in the power of the game” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 52). This strategy made it easier for Jackson to achieve his objectives.
The above composition made it easier for the team to achieve its goals. This fact explains why leaders should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their teams. The teammates also created a sense of collective identity. The members of every team should have a common goal. These strategies made it easier for the above team to succeed throughout the season (Li & Hung, 2009). The coach used a powerful structure to make his team successful. The coach encouraged his players to have a common identity. The players always treated one another with respect. The coach destroyed the concept of hierarchy to make the team successful.
Phil Jackson also embraced the best values and practices. This strategy was effective because the team was comprised of many professionals. He also promoted the idea of flexibility. This practice made it easier for players to promote the best relationships. These working relationships encouraged the players to create the best structures (Sosik & Jung, 2010). Such structures supported the expectations of the team. The approach made it easier for the team to reorganize itself (Sosik & Jung, 2010). The team created the best environment for continued change and improvement. Such attributes eventually made the team successful.
The coach and his players focused on the positive side of the game. The coach encouraged his players to embrace new experiments and ideas. This practice made it easier for players to come up with innovations. Such innovations made it easier for the team to achieve the greatest goals (Sosik & Jung, 2010). It is also agreeable that Phil Jackson was not an authoritative leader. He always encouraged his players to have a vision. Jackson was always ready to support the changing needs of his players.
Every member of the team played the role of a leader. This approach created a sense of teamwork (Li & Hung, 2009). The players also respected and supported their coach. The case study of “the Chicago Bulls 1995-96 Championship Team narrates the story of a group of basketball players who came together in extraordinary ways” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 76). The approach made it easier for the team to emerge victoriously. The coach also encouraged his players to trust one another.
The above stages of GDS describe the strengths of Full Range Leadership. The players of the Chicago Bulls team used the best Full Range Leadership Development (FRLD) behaviors to achieve their potentials. The achievements of this team clearly show how leadership can be shared equally. The role of the coach was to guide his players. According to Li and Hung (2009), FLRD encourages more individuals to work as teams. Phil Jackson embraced the best behaviors and practices to support his team. The team embraced such values to emerge successfully. Some practices such as “effective communication, proper interaction, decision-making, empowerment, and critical thinking made it easier for the team to achieve its potentials” (Westerbeek & Smith, 2012, p. 95).
Organizational leaders can borrow a lot from the achievements of the above team. It is agreeable that the members of the team embraced a powerful leadership model throughout the season. The team exhibited the best FRLD behaviors. Some “positive practices such as effective participation, commitment, guidance, and teamwork have the potential to produce the best goals” (Sosik & Jung, 2010, p. 64). The members of the team shared the idea of leadership. This approach produced the best interactions, thus supporting the team’s goals. That being the case, employees should embrace the concept of teamwork. This practice can make it easier for many managers to address the challenges affecting their firms. The targeted employees should also work hard to emerge successfully. Organizational leaders should, therefore, use most of the above strategies to achieve their potentials.
Li, C., & Hung, C. (2009). The Influence of Transformational Leadership on Workplace Relationships and Job Performance. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 37(8), 1129-1142.
Sosik, J., & Jung, I. (2010). Full Range Leadership Development: Pathways for People, Profit, and Planet. New York, NY: Routledge-Taylor & Francis Group.
Westerbeek, H., & Smith, A. (2012). Business Leadership and the Lessons from Sport. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.