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Kobe Bryant's Leadership Style | Mamba Mondays

Updated: Dec 14, 2022


Kobe Bryant is one of my favorite leaders to study. He had an intense focus and desire to be great that nobody around him could match, and he had to learn how to manage that in a way that could inspire and not shut others out. Sometimes, that fire and desire pushed people away, but that fire and desire is also what made him a champion and one of the most loved athletes ever.

Here is what Kobe Bryant wrote about his leadership style:

I wouldn't say my leadership style changed over the years. I liked challenging people and making them uncomfortable. That’s what leads to introspection and that’s what leads to improvement. You could say I dared people to be their best selves.
That approach never wavered. What I did adjust, though, was how I varied my approach from player to player. I still challenged everyone and made them uncomfortable, I just did it in a way that was tailored to them. Once I understood them, I could help bring the best out of them by touching the right nerve at the right time. To learn what would work and for who, I started doing homework and watched how they behaved. I learned their histories and listened to what their goals were. I learned what made them feel secure and where their greatest doubts lay.

Questions to think about or use with your teams/teammates:

1 - Who is the best leader you have ever been around?

2 - How would you describe their leadership style?

3 - How would you describe YOUR leadership style?

4 - How do you change your approach to meet the needs of the people you are leading, motivating, or inspiring?

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