Western Union hosts sitdown with Denver Nuggets' Michael Malone and Tim Connelly

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

Western Union hosted a rare sitdown at its headquarters with Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and Team President Tim Connelly in a WU Dialogues series with its employees.

Employees were able to gain insight from Malone and Connelly on how they handle important values like communication, handling different personalities and working towards a similar goal in a Q and A session hosted by Altitude’s Vic Lombardi.

Here are some of their responses:

On self-improvement:

Malone: “In the last three or four weeks, I’ve taken time to decompress. I’ve taken time to reflect on the season. Taking a look inward…Every year, we’re not afraid to look within and see what we can do better on the court and off the court. Find ways to constantly challenge ourselves. How can we be better?

We used the pain and disappointment of missing the playoffs for two years in a row by one game throughout all last summer into the season. We had a great year. The challenge for us now is after a really magical type [of] season…We have to find ways to challenge ourselves and stay away from being complacent.”

Experience and roles:

Connelly: “I think role acceptance was something that was invaluable this year. I think regardless of what industry or sport you’re in, a team is a team is a team. I think this year we saw guys 1-17 [buy in], [even] guys who wanted to play more…This is the team that’s been most accepting of their roles [in his decades in the NBA] and supporting their teammates.”

Malone: "You have to be unafraid of making tough decisions and you can’t be afraid of hurting people’s feelings. It’s not about one person, it’s about what’s best for everyone."

On the importance of managers listening to their employees:

Malone: “My father mentioned to me a long time ago, ‘learn from your players. Your players are out there [on the court].’ Honestly, we have a very young team. So a lot of guys haven’t walked the walk yet, they are still learning themselves. But when you have a player like Isaiah Thomas, who’s been around, who’s been an All-Star. Or Paul Millsap, who’s been in 90-plus playoff games. I think you’d be unwise to not tap into their vast knowledge and experiences.

I think [the biggest thing I’ve learned] is the players telling me to be true to myself. We accept your coaching because we know you care about us.

After the Q&A session, Malone and Lombardi led an auction of signed Nuggets merchandise for KSE charities. Malone, Connelly and Lombardi closed the event with a meet and greet of all Western Union employees in attendance.

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