The last couple weeks have been sad, there’s no disputing it. The tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of 9 people in Southern California is beyond devastating. Among those lost on that Sunday morning in January, was NBA legend, Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a man whose very existence had a tremendous impact not only on those who shared his love of basketball, but on his family, friends and absolutely everyone who knew him. His energy, focus and work ethic were on a level of their own. He made the best look like amateurs.

I wanted to write this article in memory of Kobe and share with you some principles that he believed in and followed his entire life, as an athlete, a business man and a family man. Here they are:

Follow your passion

There’s no disputing the passion Kobe played with. He was in love with the game of basketball. Someone working as hard as he did could not sustain that unless they were absolutely in love and passionate about what they did.

Find mentors

Kobe asked a lot of questions. Sometimes he even asked his competitors questions in the middle of a game. His curiosity to excel through practice and through mentorship was admirable. He did this with humility and a smile on his face.

Outwork everyone

Kobe’s unbelievable work ethic was a known fact in the league. He put in the work to be great and more importantly he put in the invisible work (“the work done when no one is watching”). He wanted to be the best and knew that in order to do that, he had work much harder than anyone would ever imagine.

Don’t fear failure

Kobe did not have fears of failure. He was one of the first who looked at failure as an experiment and the process that would lead him to greatness. He always said, “just move forward, one foot in front of the other.”

Have patience

As I mentioned this in a previous article here, Kobe really demonstrated the difference between speed and fast when it came to his patience on and off the court. You see, speed is about being decisive and taking action on uncertainty while having the willingness to experiment the right way. Fast, is just about making poor quality decisions quickly. There’s a big difference.

Love the game

It’s a game, it’s a journey, there is no finite approach. Kobe loved the game day in and day out. His goal wasn’t to win 1 championship (finite KPI), his approach was to win as many championships as possible (infinite KPI). This approach kept him going.

Find new challenges

When he retired, he jumped into things that were outside of his comfort zone, but this is what the great do. They find new challenges, embrace them and evolve. They have the courage to keep learning and try new things that give them purpose and a sense of fulfillment.


Focus leads to commitment, which leads to discipline, which leads to bold bets. Kobe made bold bets both on and off the court.

Be a legend

If you want to do something special work hard, be great and have high standards. There is no other way.

There’s no disputing the impact Kobe had on the world. His departure crushed the hearts of not only basketball fans, but everyone who knew his name. A great athlete, a great father, a great husband, a great mind and a great human. His talents, skills and DNA were transferable to many different industries and his 2nd act in life would have been even greater than his 1st with the Lakers.

You’ll be missed Kobe. #MambaMindset