Magic stepped down because being an employee, even a well paid employee, restricts your reach

Magic Johnson stepped down as President of the Lakers organization last night and people are upset. Some are saying they are upset because he should have told the Buss family first, some are just saying he wasn’t cut out for the job. It might be all of those things but one thing that stood out to me was the limited reach of being an employee.

In his exit interview Magic made the point that he had been approached to consult with, mentor and advise major athletes like Serena Williams and Ben Simmons. Unfortunately the NBA regulations monitored his contact with players to avoid any tampering allegations as we saw with the Paul George scenario. Magic makes the comment that he couldn’t even congratulate D Wade on his career because the NBA would be watching.

“The fines and the tampering and the this and the that, I can’t help young men who want me to help them, or I can’t tweet out. Like Russell Westbrook, that was a great feat the other day. I couldn’t even tweet it out to say, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ If I had did that, everyone would have said, ‘He’s tampering.’ I don’t like that. I like to be free.”

To me, this sounds like a boss being put into the role of an employee. To me this looks like the limits jobs place on outside business activities, social media posts and conflict of interest situations. To me this looks like the very things that people go through every day because they NEED that pay check. The beauty in all this is that Magic doesn’t need a check. He took the job as a role not as a source of income and they proceeded to dictate to him as an employee.

While I was reading this the Dame Dash interview popped into my head. Magic was working this job where someone else told him what he could say and who he could say it to and when he could say it. Magic was working this job where there was someone watching him at all times and investigating conduct. Is it worth it? Not to a boss. Dame Dash would not approve.

Another thing that I realized is that the same is true with the NFL athletes. Many of them couldn’t speak out because their reach is limited. They had to “shut up and dribble”. They have a great salary but great salary doesn’t equal power. Ownership is power. Being the boss is power. Making the rules is power.

I believe that a part of the reason Magic stepped down was because he has bigger dreams for his life than to just work that job. He has a larger reach, a bigger impact and a higher calling than just making money for the Lakers organization.

I also believe that YOU have a higher calling. You have a larger reach, the chance to make a bigger impact and definitely a higher calling than just making your boss rich. There are things you can’t say, places you can’t go and people you can’t help in fear of conflict of interest, non competes and social media policies. All allow you to keep your job but they don’t allow your community to grow. I want to encourage you to think community growth not just paycheck. Your calling will make you wealthy, your job will keep you from being poor. Your calling serves your community at large, your job only serves you. Go big.

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