Re-experiencing the Chicago Bulls dynasty via ESPN’s hit docu-series, “The Last Dance,” has me cheesing from ear-to-ear every Sunday night. While there are several reasons, one of them is because I love re-witnessing my heroes through a strengths lens. One strength that is undeniably at play is Coach Phil Jackson’s Connectedness®.


Connectedness® is one of two strengths linked to spirituality (The other is Belief®.). It is also the most mystical strength. While this strength is low for me, it is the one I admire most and wish I could have more of in my life. And, as the universe works, I have attracted Connectedness® into my life. From spiritual guides to mentors to my own strengths coach, Connectedness® is the strength I seek in others when I need a 30,000 ft view of the world. They can see the big picture better than any other strength. Tapping into his missionary family’s roots, surrounding Native American culture, and Zen Buddhism, Jackson uses his spirituality to shape his “big picture” outlook on life and coaching.


Like Phil Jackson, aka the Zen Master, people with Connectedness® have a profound respect for all of humanity. They believe every human life has worth and will treat a stranger with the same respect that they would give a business executive, like Jerry Krause (which infuriates Jerry). Connectedness® believes things and people will be as they are meant to be, so accept them as they are. Phil Jackson’s acceptance of his players in “The Last Dance” is almost saintly! During the playing season, he gives Dennis Rodman time for a boozy vacation to Las Vegas and gives Scottie Pippen time to fix an injury WHILE discussing trade deals with other teams. Phil understands that these players need these things on a human level. He must help them meet those needs first, so they can return as productive team members. And, lo and behold, it works!


Although Jackson’s rare pairing of Connectedness® and Competition® means he has a tendency to pop a gasket at referees, he is typically calm and balanced. A sense of timelessness comes with Connectedness®. Since they accept the world as it is, why rush? As a result, people with Connectedness® are great at not sweating the small stuff, which can include deprioritizing deadlines, email replies, meeting start times, and menial administrative tasks. But, they are there 200% for the big stuff! You can go years without talking to a Connectedness® friend, but, if you call them in need out of the blue, they will move heaven and earth to help any way they can.


Besides the “Zen Master” strength, I like to joke that Connectedness® is the “Circle of Life” strength and the “Bob Marley soundtrack” strength. There is a focus on trusting the process of life and finding the joy in that balance. These values are at the forefront of “The Lion King” and most of Bob Marley’s music. Can you see the connection, too?


Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.