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3 Fundamental D’s I’ve Learnt From The Life Of Kobe Bryant – Sijibomi Ogundele




“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” – Kobe Bryant 

As entrepreneurs, we learn from those who have gone ahead of us to achieve greatness. If we have learnt anything from the death of Kobe Bryant, it is that if we don’t live the life of a legend, we will live a life of waste.

There are 3 fundamental things we can learn from the life of Kobe Bryant. There are over 10 Million professional basketballers but Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and other vital few, made a decision to go the extra mile in making sure they exceed the ordinary and become extraordinary. 

Famous for his tough defense, vertical leap, and ability to score winning baskets at the end of the game are not by mistake, but are a product of intentional discipline, to ensure he becomes the 1% of the 1 percent.

He understands that from the time of Muhammed Ali, the people that left the mark in society are those that go the extra mile. Kobe Bryant’s death shook the world, not because he was the greatest basketball player to ever grace the game, but because he was one of those superstars who transcend the sport, and impacted their world positively.

Kobe is a legend, not just on the field, but off the field. In honour of his achievements, I have put together 3 great lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from his life.

1. Kobe was a DISRUPTOR!

Everywhere Kobe went, he broke one record or the other, leaving a trail of victories behind.  Amongst over 10 Million Basketballers, Kobe Bryant is part of the vital few that decided not to do things 10% better, but 10 times better. 

To be a disruptor, you must not train like others but you must make training a way of life. A disruptor doesn’t have a 9-5 but a 7to7, and they are fully committed to their dream, 365 days. To be a disruptor, you must decide to pioneer ideas and innovations that will make the world better. 

Kobe never settled for less! He kept looking for ways to do things differently! He was not deterred by the norm. He didn’t even go to a University yet he broke boundaries, smashed records and dunk his way to the top, winning 5 NBA championships and a 3-time leading scorer!

You can’t disrupt your industry by playing safe. You have to take BOLD STEPS and BIG LEAPS because the ones who make history are the ones who THINK and ACT differently.

2. Kobe was DEPENDABLE

“The true text of integrity, lies in doing what you say and saying what you do” – Sijibomi Ogundele LLB

One thing that distinguishes Kobe from the average basketball player was the dependability of his Integrity.  Kobe was a man of his word and this rubs off in his work ethics and result. His dependability on and off the field is unrivalled.

From his Integrity as a person, to the integrity of his association, and the quality of his character, Kobe is an example of what it means to leave a legacy behind, and to stay committed to your path no matter what comes at you.  He had integrity of association; he only associated with people who were hard working had a great working ethic. He also had the integrity of team, his team could depend on him. He was loyal and committed to his team and was reliable. Despite numerous advances from other clubs, Kobe Bryant stayed true to the Lakers.

He is one of only 4 players in NBA history with more than 25,000 points in his career.  He’s also the youngest player in NBA history to score 30,000 points, all of this from a kid who jumped into the game straight out of high school.

He made a huge contribution to basketball, and his positive attributes have inspired many young people all over the world to pursue their dream. Without a question, Kobe’s passion for the game and integrity to pursue his dream and stay focused was undeniable. In his words: “you asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart, because it came with so much more.”_

The question we should ask ourselves as business owners is, are we doing enough to achieve our dream? Can your clients and suppliers take your word to the bank? Are you saying what you are doing and doing what you are saying? What legacy do we want to be remembered for? The man whose word is his bond or the man who says one thing and does another?

3. Kobe was DISCIPLINED!

Many people use excuses to justify their shortcomings; these are not the true Kobe Bryants. A true Kobe Bryant will go far and beyond the call of duty to make a difference. Like Kobe to the Lakers, they are entrepreneurial employees with the spirit of putting in more hours even when others are complaining. They give the team 110% because they understand that ‘if you want to lift yourself, you start by lifting someone else up”. 

Kobe Bryant didn’t have two heads. What differentiated him from others was his philosophy of discipline. In his words:

“There’s a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision.”

Kobe Bryant is gone but he will be remembered not just as a legend of the game of basketball, but as the one who disrupt his industry, embraced honesty as a mantra and above all, an Entrepreneur I look up to, watched all his videos, and learnt more about the power of discipline, diligence and disruption.

Adieu to a great Mentor!