(this is a short piece I wrote around this time last year after Kobe’s tragic passing. I figured this is as good a time to repost this. enjoy.)
Take a minute to absorb this amazing line of thinking:
I came to understand that while many of us might default to measuring our lives by summary statistics, such as number of people presided over, number of awards, or dollars accumulated in a bank, and so on, the only metrics that will truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people. When I have my interview with God, our conversation will focus on the individuals whose self-esteem I was able to strengthen, whose faith I was able to reinforce, and whose discomfort I was able to assuage — a doer of good, regardless of what assignment I had. These are the metrics that matter in measuring my life.
On Saturday the 23rd of January, I sent this to my MBAs going thru my Entrepreneurship and Innovation program at ALU's School of Business. The quote above is an excerpt from Clayton Christensen, a titan of the business world, THE innovation and disruption guru that changed the business world, whom we lost the Thursday before.
Then three days later. A year ago today.
Kobe. Freaking Kobe.
Kobe will now be conducting his exit interview right behind Clayton, and in spite of all the NBA championships, MVPs, the electrifying regular season and playoff games, my sense is that this 41-year-old would be quite comfortable with the many many people that he had a profound impact on, that adopted his Mamba mentality to their work, their craft, and their trade.
My initial reaction to the devastating news was ”damn, Kobe was just getting started.” On deeper reflection though, the man did exactly what he was brought on this planet to do. You get the sense if he was asked to choose between fame and fortune versus playing the game, he would have chosen the game. From the get go, after the terminal diagnosis he was given at birth—a diagnosis every single one of us has received on our birth day—he just went at life and his purpose without reservation.
He did his job, he did the work.
We owe it to the world, to ourselves, to our craft, to do our jobs well, and Kobe did that. Clayton did that.
What metrics matter in measuring your life? Did you define them, or are you just running the hamster wheel set in motion for you by someone else?
Rest in greatness, gents.
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