Business Community Development

What story are you leaving behind? Lessons from Kobe Bean Bryant


By Kudzanai Vere

One thing that is certain in life is we are at some point going to die. The biggest question that we must continuously ask ourselves on a daily basis is, “What kind of a story are we leaving behind when we’re gone?” All that we find ourselves doing on a daily basis is a build up to the answer to this important question.
Did you know that you’re busy writing a story by the way you partake your life journey? What are they saying about you now and what will they say when you are gone? Let’s all write stories we will be comfortable to hear, given a chance.
The sporting world learnt with great shock the untimely death of a sporting legend, Kobe Bean Bryant on the 26th of January 2020.
Who is Kobe Bean Bryant?
 Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Bryant played his entire 20-season career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships.
Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular season scoring, and ranks fourth on the all-time post season scoring list.
Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.
Kobe’s Awards
1. 5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009, 2010)
2. 2× NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
3. NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
4. 18× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2016)
5. 4× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
6. 11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
7. 2× All-NBA Second Team (2000, 2001)
8. 2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
9. 9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006–2011)
10. 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001, 2002, 2012)
11. 2× NBA scoring champion (2006, 2007)
12. NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
13. NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997) Nos. 8 & 24 retired by Los Angeles Lakers Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)
14. First-team Parade All-American (1996)
According to Forbes Magazine, Bryant’s net worth was estimated at $500 million in 2019.
His other side
Although he’s recognized for his unprecedented sportsmanship, Kobe Bean Bryant was once involved in a sex scandal in October of 2003 which found him in the courts. This however didn’t affect his career, he kept focused.
*8 Life lessons from Kobe Bean Bryant*
1️⃣ We’re just on earth for a season.
2️⃣ Have an intense work ethic
3️⃣ Leave a good story behind
4️⃣ Be the master of your lane.
5️⃣ Become of value
6️⃣ Don’t be tied down to your bad past.
7️⃣ Know when to retire.
8️⃣ Develop others.
Lesson number One: We’re just on earth for a season
The tragic and untimely death of Bryant spoke to everyone that, we are indeed on planet earth only for a season. We don’t know when the life valve will be unplugged. He was busy with his life plans, accompanying his daughter Gianna to a tournament at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, northwest of Los Angeles.
Once we appreciate that we only live life for a season, we then have to maximize our performance within that season. Life doesn’t have a second chance; neither does it have a trial run then the final run. You’re on live mode, do the best that you can in that season. We’re just on earth for a season, let’s all maximize in that season.
Lesson Number Two: Have an intense work ethic
Kobe Bean Bryant had an intense work ethic. His level of practice was second to none. Kobe could invest much in practice as he knew quite well that practice makes permanent. Fall in love with your profession such that it becomes part of you. Remember, practice makes permanent. Value that which brings value to your life.
Lesson Number Three: Leave a good story behind
What are people saying about you and what will their conversations be once you’re gone? Leave behind a story that even you would want to hear. What kind of narrative are you leaving behind? We write our own stories by what we do.
Google his name from wherever, you will encounter this explanation about him,
_“Kobe was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Bryant played his entire 20-season career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA champion ships.”_
He was indeed an accomplished professional basketball player and investor whose sporting story began straight from high school. He wrote the story that is read all over the world today. He was a champion. What story are you writing now that will be read when you’re gone by the whole world?
Lesson Number Four: Be the master of your lane
It is unfortunate that some will get to their death bed without having discovered their life lanes, spending forever living other people’s lives. This was unlike Kobe; he lived his passion and that was basketball. He became the master and champion in that sphere.
Kobe had numerous accolades to his name. Awards are only for champions in their fields. Do you have any award in your name? The reason why we fail to have awards is that, we want to be everywhere. Concentrate on what you’re good at, remain in your own lane and become a champion.
Bryan won five NBA championships, a 15 time member of the All NBA Team among others. He mastered his own art and became a champion.
Lesson Number Five: Become of value 
According to 2019 Forbes Magazinefigures, Kobe’s net worth was estimated at 500 million United States dollars. If I may ask, what is your net worth? What’s your value? You can only attract value if you personally become of value.
Focus on improving your value and ultimately your net worth by investing in yourself and others. Kobe kept on increasing his value by continuously improving self. This made him win so many accolades. He left a lifetime value for his family, US$500 million.
Lesson Number Six: Don’t be tied down to your bad past
It is a fact that everyone has a past, good or bad. But we can’t drive forward using the rear view mirror. Most people are so much affected by their past that they cannot make clear progressive steps forward.
Human beings are not machines to produce no breakages in the entire production line. They do make mistakes. If you make a mistake, admit that you have erred, stand up, dust yourself and move on.
In September of 2003, Kobe had a sex scandal that found him in courts. He refused to allow this to taint his sporting career. Despite all this mudslinging, he won more accolades after this than before. Don’t be tied down to your bad past.
Lesson Number Seven: Know when to retire
Those who studied economics know that there is a time when adding another or one more input into the production line will not yield any significant increase in production output holding all other factors constant. They call it the law of diminishing returns.
The same applies to human beings – we age and lose strength along the way hence our effective contribution starts to diminish. As such we should have a succession plan in place. Who is going to carry on the work after my time?
You might be an entrepreneur, speaker, business man or soccer star. Whatever the case may be, how many have you inspired and ultimately trained to carry on your legacy? We know that most of our indigenous forefathers died with their businesses. Everything crumbled after their death. No one could take over. They had committed one life and business mistake, failed to have a succession plan.
If you know when to retire, you will obviously have a successful succession plan in place.
Lesson Number Eight: Develop Others
Kobe Bean Bryant trained his daughter Gianna basketball. Had it not been for the unfortunate air craft crash that claimed both lives, Kobe had actually succeeded in passing on the baton to his daughter. In fact the plane crashed when he was accompanying her to a basketball tournament.
Kobe retired from basketball in 2016 and started on a huge investment drive. He was even quoted talking about how he wanted to be remembered as an investor rather than as a basketball player in his retirement speech.
He even built the Mamba Basketball Academy where people could train and hold basketball tournaments. Gianna was one such person among others who were inspired and developed into a brilliant basketball player by her father. He loved his daughter.
Kudzanai Vere is an Entrepreneur, Transformational Speaker, Author, Business and Life Coach. For your Personal Development, Organisation Development, Leadership Development, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Coaching, you can contact Kudzie on +263 772 592232 / +263 719 592232 or email him on [email protected]_

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende