RIP #24 / #8

Like everyone else, I woke up a few days ago to the news that Kobe Bryant has passed away – doesn’t seem real to me. Seemed like just yesterday he was thrilling Millions of us on the Basketball Courts – dominating with Mamba Mentality.

One of the key traits which Kobe is known for is his incredible intensity and competitiveness. This video clip of an interview he granted at the USC Performance Science Institute offers an interesting look into his leadership style and business philosophy. Here’s what I picked up from listening and watching the session.

Keep Grinding: Kobe started out by stressing the importance of maintaining strong work ethic – of staying curious. Asking lots of questions – as he did of all the Greats. He sought out Great Players and asked them questions. Always seeking to learn, to understand – and then Hone His Craft. That’s the embodiment of someone with a Learn It All mentality -as opposed to “Know it alls”.

Learn, Absorb, Be a Sponge: Watch the way he talked about the importance of Continuous Learning

Dream – “Don’t Govern Your Dream – Keep Them Pure” – Love this comment. It reminds me of the famous quote by Will Smith “What’s the Point in Being Realistic?”.

He admonished the audience to “Protect Your Dreams, Protect Your Imagination” – Don’t Limit Yourself.

“Work On Your Game” – “Be Very Specific”. Ask Yourself – What do I do very well? How can I be even better? Try to get Better Every Single Day.

As I watched the interview, I was again struck by his drive, even after having achieved so much – he’d still rise at 4am daily, to train – to work on himself, and seek to be better.

Self-Awareness: Koby also spoke about being Self Aware. About being aware of how you’re feeling, of what you’re thinking. I love his story about taking up Tap Dancing as a means of improving his footwork and building strength in his legs.

Find the Beauty in the Process: I’ve heard this before – I imagine many of you have as well. The idea of finding satisfaction in the Journey. Getting up everyday to train (rain or shine) – and focusing on incremental gains. I remember another Basketball Player – Blake Griffin, talking about falling in love with the process of becoming Great.

Kobe was definitely a Leader on and off the Basketball Court. His style of Leadership wouldn’t necessarily endear him to everyone – however he was very clear about who he is and what he strived to accomplish. I admire his passion for self-improvement and uncompromising drive to continuously learn, evolve and grow.

RIP Kobe – You will be missed!

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