Kobe iNspiring us to Crush our Goals
On January 26th, 2020 the death of Kobe Bean Bryant sent shock waves of heart wrenching emotions around the world. Whether you were a fan of his, a fan of sports in general, or not, everyone seemed to be impacted by the tragic loss of a legend who was just beginning his journey outside the scope of basketball. Kobe was most known for his work ethic and mindset which was coined the Mamba Mentality due to his own self-proclaimed nickname “The Black Mamba”. Many use this mentality not only in sporting events and practice, but in their day-to-day lives to get the most out of each day on their path to success. New Orleans Saints’ linebacker Damario Davis describes the Mamba Mentality as “…more of an approach than anything else. It’s about attacking what’s in front of you with passion and purpose, without fear and doubt, and without an ounce of quit.” The Mamba Mentality can be used for all aspects of your life but fits like a glove in the purview of business. More specifically in sales and in creating a thriving business team as you lead by example.
Lessons from the Black Mamba
Kobe taught the world many lessons on and off the court throughout his esteemed career. One lesson that most learned from him is that if you want to fulfill your dreams you must work hard for them. Kobe is known for his obsessive work ethic which has countless stories to back it up, including the story told by former NBA player and current ESPN Basketball Analyst Jay Williams. Before Williams’ Bulls played Kobe’s Lakers, Williams decided to get to the arena 5 hours early to get in some practice before the upcoming game. To his surprise, Kobe was already on the court getting shots up as well. Williams proceeded to work out for over an hour before stopping to watch Kobe from the sidelines continue almost half an hour after Williams had stopped. “It’s not like his moves are nonchalant or lazy,” Williams recalled during the interview. “He’s doing, like, game moves.” Kobe went on to score and assist on 40 points in the game. Impressed, Williams went up to Kobe to ask why he worked as hard as he did that day. Kobe responded “I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work. I’m willing to work harder than you.” Williams learned from Kobe that day that you cannot expect to perform well if you do not sacrifice the time to learn, study, and outwork your opponents. Even if that means working out at 4 am, which Kobe is also known for doing. Kobe had an unquenchable desire and thirst to get better every day. He surrounded himself with people he could learn from and if they could not answer a question for him, he was never scared to reach out to those who could. These stories and lessons can relate directly to the business world. You will never be great at what you do merely by having pure talent and skill, you must put in the work to reach that mountain top you have been climbing.
As a sales professional, it is well known that your most valuable asset is time. If you are in the sales community, you have heard the phrase “time is money” almost on a daily basis. As a salesman or a saleswoman, you must honestly ask yourself “am I utilizing my full 24 hours I get everyday appropriately?” Are you taking advantage of the golden hours of the day instead of repeatedly hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock? While everyone else sleeps you could be getting a step ahead of your competition while you listen to the birds sing there morning melodies. Everyone has the same amount of time each day, all the way down to the second. You must maximize your 24 hours the best you can to either gain a step ahead or gain a step closer to your competition in the sales industry. Kobe Bryant was a master at maximizing his 24 hours. Kobe would workout 3 times a day for 2 hours, if not more, at a time starting at 5 am at the latest. He would still have time to make breakfast for his family, take his kids to and from school and practices, and have family time each and every day to wind down. Kobe meticulously would work on his craft so he would have the edge once game time rolled around. An NBA scout back in 2008 once said “Allen Iverson loves to play when the lights come on. Kobe loves doing the s**t before the lights come on.” For those who do not follow sports as intensely as I, Kobe Bryant wore number 8 on his jersey for the first half of his career and number 24 the second half. Both of which are retired in the rafters of Staples Center, the home court of the Los Angeles Lakers. These two numbers have a deeper meaning within this article than what meets the eye. I want to implore you to change your view of the 8-hour workday that you may currently have to a 24-hour workday. Each hour of the day is another hour to make yourself better than the hour before. Spend an extra hour making small investments in new markets that can eventually pay off big time in the future. With only an extra few minutes spent checking in on your client you can lead to a long-term relationship for you and your business interests. Spend the early morning hours of your day before work planning out your day, so you can attack the day head on without wasting any time confused about what to do next. When Kobe was accepting his Icon Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards he said “We aren’t on this stage just because of talent and ability. We’re up here because of 4 am. We’re up here because of 2-a-days or 5-a-days.” To reach the top you must wake up everyday and put in the effort to be better than you were the day before. Even if that means sacrificing some sleep.
With all that being said, if you are to implement these features into your day and adjust your mentality towards the ideals of the Mamba Mentality, you can lead your business team with action and purpose. You will be able to lead your team by example, from your ways of handling your business to how you take advantage of your time before, during, and after work hours. Your team, as Kobe’s teams did, will follow in line, and will have the same drive and same killer mentality as their leader in front of them. If the whole office is putting in the effort to continue to be better than the day before, your office will flourish and continue to build on the momentum of the day before.
Continuing the Mamba mentality post-mortem
Kobe Bryant’s death put many things into perspective for millions, if not billions, around the world, both that day and the months that followed. It caused many to be introspective and look within to see if their work ethic in whatever they do is up to the standard of Kobe’s Mamba Mentality. No matter what industry you are in within the business world, you can take countless lessons from the man who had a drive of a champion and endless hunger to be better today than he was yesterday. We all can implement bits and pieces of the inspirational stories that continue to come out, almost a whole year now after his passing, and will continue to come out into our own day-to-day struggles to improve our lives for the better. “To sum up what Mamba Mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. It’s having a focus and having a purpose. You wake up every single day to get better today than you were yesterday. Doesn’t matter what you are – basketball player, hockey player, golf player, painter, writer, doesn’t matter.” – Kobe Bryant