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NBA legend Magic Johnson shares tips on how to be a great leader

Brian Sozzi

Magic Johnson has long been viewed by many as a top leader on and off the basketball court.

So it’s no surprise he was able to easily answer a question from baseball legend Alex Rodriguez at the 29th Annual Achilles Gala this week on what makes him a great leader. Johnson said listening to others and surrounding himself with smart people have been key to his personal development post a storied NBA career, which saw him rack up five championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He added that staying active in communities as a way to keep learning and evolving has also proven important.

Johnson credited learning a lot in terms of business from former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (Johnson once opened and operated Starbucks stores, after receiving the go ahead from Schultz) and fellow Los Angeles Dodgers owner, Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter.

Magic Johnson poses in the press room with the lifetime achievement award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The Hall of Famer has enjoyed a successful second act as a highly regarded entrepreneur in large part by putting his leaderships skills into practice.

Johnson is the founder and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). With an estimated valuation of $1 billion, MJE has invested in restaurants, entertainment venues and infrastructure projects. Johnson is also a part owner, through MJE, of the Dodgers.

Johnson’s net worth is estimated to be around $600 million.

Although Johnson is a great leader, even the best could make a mistake or two. He regrets not taking Nike stock when Nike co-founder Phil Knight offered it to him.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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