Be like John Stockton, make others successful

Consultants are in the business of making other people successful. Yes, consultants make a good salary, and yes, they do have some power on projects. Fundamentally though, it is not about them. It is about the clients. Good consulting habits.

This week, my client got a compliment from one of her peers. It was a win for her, but it was also a win for me. If I crunch the data, put together a persuasive presentation, and it gives my client the venue to look good. Mission accomplished.

John Stockton, NBA

If you are not a fan of basketball, you might now know this name. He played for the Utah Jazz for almost 20 years. He was the #1 basketball player in the National Basketball Association (yes #1. . . better than Michael Jordon, and LeBron James) for scoring assists. John Stockton was the #1 player in history for helping other players score points. He excelled at helping others win. Consultant role model.


Karl Malone was the #2 leading scorer of all time. . . in large part due to John Stockton’s strategy, unselfishness, and team spirit. Karl Malone says,

“He wants his teammates to be better every day, so he thinks pass first, shot second. He’s one of a dying breed of real point guards. You’ll never see another one like him, ever.” — Karl Malone


Apparently, the coach of the Utah Jazz had so much confidence in John Stockton that there were very rarely late-in-the game time outs. Essentially he trusted John to take leadership on the court. Jerry Sloan goes on to say:

What do I need to call a timeout for? . . . I got a guy [Stockton] out there who knows more about what we need than I do.” — Utah Jazz coach


John Stockton was short by NBA standards. He was 6 feet 1 inch (185cm). He practiced constantly. In elementary school, the coach opened the gym up at 6am for anyone who wanted to practice more. Apparently, Stockton was there everyday.


In addition to assists, he was also led the NBA in steals from opponents; he stole the ball more than any other player in history. He is the kind of player you definitely want on your team, and yet at the time, he was chosen as a 16th draft pick. He was not everyone’s first choice, but he was arguably Utah’s best choice. He stayed with the Utah Jazz for 19 years.

Related Posts:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Reformed management consultant who now teaches at business school. Business geek.