Advice From Kobe: How To Push Your People Harder…

In Basketball
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The Los Angeles Lakers lost the 2008 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics in six games. The series ended with a 39-point blowout loss on the Celtics’ home court. 


The Lakers had to ride their team bus out of the TD Garden in Boston and with their bus shaken and harassed by euphoric Celtics fans. Kobe hated that feeling. Already the league MVP, Kobe’s challenge was in what he could do about it. 


He thought of his basketball idol, Michael Jordan.


MJ was (in)famous for being an asshole/dick/bully to his teammates on the Chicago Bulls. Few Bulls teammates speak of Jordan as a friend, but they all respect him. They all looked better with MJ than they did without him. And, all those Bulls players got paid after playing (and winning) with Mike. 


Kobe decided he’d been too nice with his Laker teammates, too easygoing. On that shaky bus ride out of the Garden, Kobe decided that if the Lakers lost again, it wouldn’t be because they got bullied again, like Boston had done. Kobe decided to double down on toughening up his teammates. 


No excuses. No niceness. No easing up. If they would lose, it would be on Kobe’s terms. He stopped being nice. He raised the standards. He allowed no cutting corners. 


The Lakers won the next two NBA Championships. 




When you’re in charge, you might sometimes feel you’re too hard on your team/family/subordinates. You’re asking too much of them; holding them to a standard that they simply can’t meet. They’re melting under the heat of your demands. 


Maybe they’ll do better if you meet them halfway. Times have changed, after all. You have to be more diplomatic with people nowadays. 


Fuck that. 


Do what Michael and Kobe did. Do what Steve Jobs did. Do as Tillman Fertitta (owner of Houston Rockets and CEO of Landry’s who wrote a book called “Shut Up And Listen!”) does.


Don’t let up. Push them. Demand more. Keep your foot in their asses. 


This is not some toxic masculinity ego trip thing. It’s for their good, and for the good of the organization. 




Because most people will never drive themselves as hard as they could be driven. Most people are good with good-enough, and need to be prodded, driven, and coaxed into raising their standards. Since they’re on your team, it’s your job to bring them to where you — and they — need them to be. 


They’ll thank you later. Or not. But you’ll win. 


By the way, my book The Mirror Of Motivation will show you how to first do this with yourself — so then you can do it with others. 


Claim your free copy here: 

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