Michael Jordan Does Whatever It Takes In This McDonald's Training Video

In the early 1990s, Michael Jordan was a wealthy basketball player and product pitchman who was establishing himself as the greatest ever to play in the NBA. What wisdom could he possibly have for folks who were about to start minimum-wage jobs at McDonald's? By this time, Jordan had been featured in McDonald's commercials for years. What his fans may not know is that he also helped McDonald's behind the scenes, appearing in an employee-training video from 1991 titled "Doing Whatever It Takes," about how to satisfy the fast-food restaurant's customers.

"Now you're probably wondering, 'What does Michael Jordan know about satisfying the customer?'" Jordan says near the beginning of the video. Reverting back to the first person, Jordan said he considered the 18,000 screaming fans in the basketball arena to be the paying customers he needed to satisfy. "No matter what kind of day I've had, when I put on that uniform my customers expect behind-the-back passes, long three-pointers, or great slam dunks. It's my job to deliver it, and I love it." 

Then Jordan drives the point home: "When you put on your McDonald's uniform, your customers want more than just quick service with a smile. They expect to be treated as a guest in your home. And if you hadn't had the greatest of days, it's up to you to put on a show and do whatever it takes to satisfy your customer."

Employees could learn a lot from Michael Jordan's commitment to his work

Jordan most certainly did whatever it took throughout his career, leading the Chicago Bulls to six championships in eight seasons. Never was this more true than during the legendary "flu game" in 1997, when Jordan played 44 of 48 game minutes despite debilitating flu-like symptoms. This was more than McDonald's or any sensible employer would require. No boss would make an employee work if he had been throwing up all day, which Jordan had before that game (via CBS Sports). Despite feeling terrible, Jordan led all players with 38 points and led his team to a win.

"It's all about desire. You just need to come out here and do what you gotta do," Jordan said after the game. Who knows if he was thinking about those McDonald's trainees as he said these words? After all, he "hadn't had the greatest of days," to quote from his training video. "I was really tired. I was very weak," Jordan said after the game, "but somehow I found the energy to stay strong. I wanted it real bad."

Jordan was a good role model for an employee at McDonald's or anyone, really, who holds down a job. Author Mark Vancil summed this up in The Last Dance, the Jordan documentary that aired on ESPN (via Reddit): "You could argue that Michael Jordan was as good at his job as anyone has ever been at their job ever, in anything."