Let me start by stating, I am not a big Kobe Bryant fan. While he is an unbelievable basketball talent, he could be doing so much more to help our community, country and the world. Besides the fact, he is not a Celtic.
A key leadership trait is the ability to recognize improvement when it does occur. I’ve had bosses in the past where once you are placed in the “penalty box” there is absolutely no way out and I promised myself I would never do this to others. This brings me back to Kobe. I get my information the same way most of us do – the evening news and post game interviews. The words used in these interviews are very telling.
In the immediate post Shaq era, Kobe would use the word “they” when talking about his team during an interview after a loss. He separated himself from the team. A few years later, he attempted to take a leadership role and started using the word “I” when talking about the team performance. While somewhat better, this sounded like he was the only guy out there. The last couple seasons Kobe has further tried to establish his role as a leader and the word “my” team is often used. Again, it is an improvement, but who wants to be on a team owned by one of the other players.
Kobe Bryant started in the NBA when he was eighteen years old. We would expect him to mature. It is my guess that when we hear him use the words “we” and “our” when talking about the team, there will be national championship parades in town again. Watch out Celtics.
Have you seen single words used in powerful leadership ways?