I was stunned to hear of the passing of Kobe Bryant at the age of 41. Kobe brought so much light to the planet. Who couldn’t help falling in love with his captivating smile?

When I think of Kobe, the thoughts that come to mind are:

  • Excellence
  • Enthusiasm
  • Passion
  • Work ethic
  • Mentor
  • Exemplar
  • Family

Kobe joined the Lakers right out of high school. This created what, for most mortals, would have been a formidable challenge to merely succeed in a league much less become the standout he was in the era of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and many others. He didn’t succeed by being cocky–he succeeded by performing night-after-night.

Such a brilliant shining star flamed out in a heartbeat today. His daughter, Gianna, joins him in going to the other side. Given Kobe’s mentorship of Gianna, she was destined for greatness in women’s basketball.

It’s been an honor to have seen him and be in his presence. I pray for Kobe, Gianna, Kobe’s wife Vanessa and his family, and all who have been impacted by this tragic event including the seven others who tragically died in the helicopter crash. Godspeed.

Thought for the week:

“When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself ‘you are a failure,’ I think that is almost worse than dying.” – Kobe Bryant

Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.


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