Friday, March 28, 2014

Becoming a Professional MVP: The Kobe

In 1996, the Charlotte Hornets elected to draft a young 19-year old kid from Philadelphia, as the 13th overall pick, to play for them in the NBA – his name, Kobe Bryant. Wait!?! Kobe has only played for the Los Angeles Lakers, right?

You are absolutely correct – the Charlotte Hornets traded Kobe to the Lakers in that same draft and as history would show, he made the most of his rookie season by becoming known as the high-flying shooting guard who used to dunk with authority. The reason I bring Kobe into this post is not because of that regretful trade the Hornets made in 1996; but to highlight Kobe’s ability to reinvent himself and his game throughout his professional basketball career. In the early stages of his career, Kobe used to be a slashing, spinning shooting guard and dynamic dunking machine. Now at an older age, as Kobe edges closer to the end of his career, he’s learned how to become one of the most technically sound players in the entire game – putting in the hard work and determination to truly understand what his strengths are and how he can capitalize on them. Simply put, he has continued to reinvent himself and his game to make sure his impact is positive and immediate.

For us, reinvention doesn’t have to be directly correlated with the idea of getting older. Of course as we grow and develop within our careers we will have to continue to reinvent our style to stay on par with any technology, etc. advancements; however, I’d encourage you to change your perspective to the following (which is what I’m referring to as The Kobe):

The foundation of reinvention is self-awareness. In other words, it serves as binoculars and as a compass. The binoculars allow you to see what’s coming with ample time to navigate. The compass allows you to stay on track and feel confident about your changes in direction. Dan Gallagher, author of The Self-Aware Leader, believes that to drive desirable leadership outcomes such as achieving success with projects, promotions, and professional satisfaction, one MUST become self-aware.

As you continue to follow your passion or dream job, resolve to reinvent yourself through the lens of self-awareness. Don’t try to be something you’re not qualified for and/or will not find success in. Take the time to sincerely evaluate yourself, your interests, and your strengths; and then align those qualities within the context of your roles and responsibilities. Most importantly, stay true to yourself. E.E. Cummings stated it best, “To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best to make you just like everybody else means to fight the greatest battle there is to fight and to never stop fighting.”

 Patrick is a MS, Sport Management candidate at Drexel University set to graduate in Summer 2014. He is the Business and Operations Graduate Assistant for Drexel Athletics and is responsible for supporting the Administration and Operations staff of Drexel's Athletic Cabinet this year. Gallagher graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in marketing and management, in May 2006 from Villanova University. During his enrollment, he was named Captain of the men's varsity soccer team and was appointed President of SAAC. He is looking to use his professional experience as a media sales consultant in New York, coupled with his passion for sports, to pursue a successful career in athletic administration.
You can connect with Patrick Gallagher on LinkedIn

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