While I was preparing my remarks, Kobe dropped by my room carrying a copy of my book, Sacred Hoops. He asked me to sign the book, and said he was really excited about working with me because he was a big Bulls fan. It was a good sign.
– Phil Jackson, Eleven Rings
We are all so fragile. We are all so worried about what others think about us. We are all, it seems, so competitive with each other. We forget that if we could just learn to show a little respect, and to show a little more interest, we might build a better future together.
As I was reading Eleven Rings, I read the quote above. Phil Jackson was preparing for his inaugural press conference as the new Los Angeles Lakers coach. Kobe Bryant shows up, asks for Jackson’s autograph in his copy of Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops, and says, in essence: “I can’t wait to work with you. Teach me. We can do great things together.”
Interest and attention and respect. And a little “sucking up”. (Carville and Begala write about the smartness of “sucking up” in Buck Up, Suck Up… and Come back when you Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets for the War Room.)
It seems that there is a shortage of these qualities these days — interest and attention and respect. Respect seems a little lacking. Simply paying attention is in short supply. And so, people get off to a wrong start in a new job with a new supervisor/manager. What if we simply gave it a try? Say to one another, “I look forward to working together. I respect your abilities, and want to learn from you. Teach me.” What if we started, and acted like, we want this to work?
Kobe Bryant understood. Phil Jackson came into Los Angeles with 6 championship rings as head coach. He left the Lakers with 5 more – eleven rings. These last five were with Kobe as part of the team. Starting well seemed to pay pretty rich dividends.
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis