Last week the world tragically lost an incredible talent and a highly influential leader ….. both on the basketball court and in business.
Admittedly I have never been a huge fan of basketball, but as an avid reader and pursuer of excellence I realized that my admiration for Kobe emanated from what I learned about his personal drive and commitment.
By his own admission, Kobe was not born with immense talent or a physique that gave him an advantage over others. His early childhood was somewhat restricted having grown up in Italy – a nation that is obsessed with soccer rather than basketball.
By the time he returned to Philadelphia at the age of 13, Kobe had some catching up to do against his fanatical, basketball-crazy schoolmates. But Kobe dreamed of greatness and understood the work ethic required to achieve it.
And greatness is what he achieved:
- He broke many High School scoring records and achieved many prestigious awards
- In 1996 he was the youngest player to be drafted into the NBA
- He played with the LA Lakers at a competitive level for 20 years
- He won 5 NBA Championships
- 2-time NBA Finals MVP and NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
- He holds numerous NBA scoring and playing records
- 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist in basketball for the USA
- Plus many many more ….
Kobe could have easily just been another kid who liked playing basketball and dreamed of something better.
Just like many bankers or finance professionals who simply “stumble” into a job in finance and dream of something better.
But what Kobe did different, that any of us could do, is that he embraced his vocation and diligently learned to master the skills that would set him apart from his peers and competition.
You see the finance industry is your basketball court, and you can achieve an extraordinary life too if you diligently learn the skills that will strongly differentiate you.
Your career is not simply a job. Start believing it’s an opportunity to achieve greatness. Just like Kobe.
Below are 10 Inspirational Rules that guided Kobe Bryant throughout his extraordinary 20 year career in the NBA.
I would suggest that all of these Inspirational Rules have relevance in our career as Bankers and Finance Professionals.
Here are my thoughts on just some of these rules and how they can help you achieve the career (and life) of your dreams:
Outwork Your Potential
My first boss told me that “if you show a little bit of enthusiasm you will get a whole lotta growth”. He certainly encouraged me to outwork my potential.
Make an extra phone call. Send three more emails. Arrange two more meetings. Provide three more presentations. Close five more deals.
Recognize what you think may be your potential, and then be willing to exceed it.
Be a Long Term Thinker
Stop thinking you can achieve extraordinary success in a short timeframe. Stop thinking you can retire early. This thinking could possibly result in disappointment if you fail to achieve that goal …. and ultimately demotivate you from achieving your true “long term” greatness.
If you maintain a long term perspective, you will be pleasantly surprised by the small (or big) victories you will achieve along the way.
Challenge Yourself To Grow & Learn From Failures
Two of my favorite rules that have guided me throughout my successful career. Always pursue growth and be willing to make mistakes. Commit to learning new skills every week and practice practice practice every day.
Define what “greatness” and success means to you. Make it ambitious, deeply personal and truly meaningful. People fail to achieve greatness because they are unclear about what “greatness” looks like for them. We will always be willing to do anything to achieve something that matters to us.
Regardless of your personal views about Kobe or basketball, his success is hard to deny and the way he achieved it was truly inspirational.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to do a little research on what made this man so successful and I think you will find an idea (or two) that will inspire you to make a change for the better.