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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary

Question-Based Leadership | Mamba Mondays

Question-Based Leadership is a leadership style that leverages open-ended questions to engage and empower others. Leaders ask questions about current events or relevant experiences to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

Question-Based Leadership can improve communication and collaboration, build relationships and trust, and gather more information so leaders and teams can make better decisions.

In the video below, Kobe Bryant was asked about his leadership style. Kobe was known for being a tough, demanding leader, but after he and the Los Angelos Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, Kobe felt his team wasn’t tough enough and got bullied by the Celtics, and he blamed himself for being too nice.

Kobe then flipped the switch and led his team to back-to-back NBA Championships.

At the 30:50 mark, Kobe asked, “Did your teammates assume your personality?”

Kobe said they had to take ownership of their own journeys. They had to take and use things in their lives that were scars and learn how to use those moments as weapons, using basketball as a vehicle through which they can express themselves. When they faced the Celtics again, it was no longer about their opponent, but about them taking their inner struggles and channeling them into the game to unleash them.

Kobe said, “It became a matter of how do I express that to them, and, how do I get them to the point where they figure this out for themselves?”

When asked how he did it, Kobe said he had to share his story, open up to them, and let them know what he had to deal with and how he did it.

He used his experiences to open up to them, and they were able to take those stories and make them their own.

Kobe used Question-Based Leadership as a space for them to learn more about themselves and coach themselves better.

Kobe believes that sports and life are better teachers than he was. His job was to create a space where everybody could be vulnerable, learn from his experiences, and then figure out what they needed to do to become the best version of themselves and become champions.


1 - What is your biggest takeaway from the video?

2 - What is a better teacher: you or the experiences of the people you are leading?

3 - Do you feel like you ask the people you teach, coach, and lead more questions, or do you do more teaching and telling?

4 - What do you think would be some benefits of Question-Based Leadership?

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