Dr. Jerry Buss passed away this week. He has been remembered fondly by all that knew of him since his passing. Many are calling him the greatest owner in the history of sports. Bill Simmons, one of the biggest Boston sports fans on the planet, even wrote a post singing his praises. You don’t leave that kind of impression without teaching us all something along the way. Here are the Benchmark 5: Things We Can All Learn From Dr. Jerry Buss.

  1. Treat people like family. Every single former player that called into the radio, even fans, have said that Dr. Buss created an atmosphere of family and community. Players shared stories of going to Dr. Buss’ house for dinners and all talked about how supportive he was for them on and off the court. If you can create this feeling for both your employees and customers, they will be loyal to you forever.
  2. Location. Location. Location. Dr. Buss knew that the city of Los Angeles was a big draw. He could lure in free agents with perfect weather and a connection to Hollywood. The stage is bigger here and he found the biggest stars for it.
  3. Make your brand global. The Lakers are on a level with the Yankees for teams that have a global reach. Go to any continent (except Antartica…pretty sure the only competitive sport there is not dying) and you’ll find Lakers merchandise.
  4. It’s about how you look doing it. The Lakers won under Dr. Buss. A lot. That was only a part of the draw to the team. It was also the lifestyle. Hollywood, the Fabulous Forum (and the Forum Club) and everything that goes with it.
  5. Live life to its fullest. Dr. Buss came from meager beginnings and grew his business into an empire. Really, the first four points all add up to this. Find something you enjoy doing and never stop trying to be the best at it. That’s not to say don’t enjoy every victory, big or small, along the way. Dr. Buss did.