I’ve never been into Basketball or NBA. But from 2000 till 2015, I’ve watched countless matches and match highlights of just one team, LA Lakers, all because of one man — Kobe Bryant. He was a legend not just to me but millions around the world!
The man had insane work ethic, something that most mere mortals can only be envious about.
He was called up his trainer at 4am to come and help him practice, and 20 minutes later when his trainer arrived, Kobe was already drenched in sweat.
They trained for a few hours on court and in the weight room, until his trainer went back to get some practice before the team practice at 11am.
When he came back, Kobe was on the other side of court practicing jump shots. He’d only just finished his morning training, right before team practice. Kobe had been there for at least 7 hours before the team training had even begun.The Wealthy Gorilla
While it’s impossible to list down each and everything I’ve learned from Kobe, there are a few that stand out. So, thank you, Kobe…
For teaching me that my attitude not aptitude determines my altitude.
For making me realise that I can lose a few battles and still win the war.
For teaching me to go out of my comfort zone and connect with people across different career paths, industries, and even countries.
“I cold call people and pick their brain about stuff. Some of the questions I ask seem really really simple and some of them seem stupid, quite honestly, for them. But if I don’t know, I don’t know. I have to ask. I’ll just do that and ask questions. I want to learn more about how they build their business and how they run their companies and how they see the world.”Kobe Bryant
For sowing the thought that it’s not the strongest or the fastest or the most talent that succeed but the most adaptable.
For teaching me that I can always learn more
“It’s really about wanting to learn and feeling like your cup is always empty, because there’s always more that you can fill it with. That’s really the important thing and just continuing to learn, learn, learn.”Kobe Bryant
For teaching me that being obsessed isn’t optional but is the key to achieve anything significant.
“If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out.”Kobe Bryant
For influencing the way I lead by setting the perfect example of a situational leader in action.
“I varied my approach from player to player. I still challenged everyone and made them uncomfortable, I just did it in a way that was tailored to them. To learn what would work and for who, I started doing homework and watched how they behaved. I learned their histories and listened to what their goals were. I learned what made them feel secure and where their greatest doubts lay. Once I understood them, I could help bring the best out of them by touching the right nerve at the right time.”
“If you are going to be a leader, you’re not going to please everybody. You got to hold people accountable, even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.”Kobe Bryant
For teaching me the importance of building my pain threshold and how lack of it will try to hold me back…
“Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”Kobe Bryant
For reaffirming once again that leaving a legacy is that one thing I can control. And that I’m responsible for how people will or won’t remember me once I’m gone.
You’ll be missed.
P.S. Here’s a mixtape of Kobe’s career highlights. If you know him, you’ve got to watch this!