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  • Alessandra Corrêa

Inspired by two NBA idols: Kobe and MJ.

(Photo: Kylie Osullivan on Unsplash)

The NBA, the American basketball league, has many inspiring stories that teach us a lot about personal development: how to be more resilient, more courageous, and more focused. One of them involves two of the greatest players in NBA history: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

Despite being of different generations, Kobe was born in 1978 and Jordan in 1963; these two myths came to face each other on the NBA courts as Kobe began his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Michael played for the Chicago Bulls.

Jordan was more than an idol; he was a myth. He had already started his professional career on the right foot, being voted "Rookie of the Year", in 1984. In 1986, his third season, he became the second player to hit the incredible 3000-point mark in one season, plus record numbers in defensive games. His games were not only efficient, bringing a lot of points to his team, but they were also beautiful. Fans loved him and called him "Air Jordan", or simply MJ.

Kobe began his professional career in 1996 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest player to play for an NBA team. He was one of the few players in history to be recruited directly from high school.

In one of his interviews, Kobe says that the first time he went to face Michael Jordan on the pitch, a friend of the team gave him a piece of advice: "Don’t look Jordan in the eyes," suggesting that he had the ability to break anyone with his look. Kobe says that at the time he thought something like, "I’ll look wherever I want; I won’t be intimidated by anyone’s look."

Thinking about the advice the colleague gave Kobe, we see how much Michael Jordan has already earned points for his presence by intimidating opponents with his confident demeanor. Much of the work was done only through his attitude.

Thinking about Kobe’s reaction, we see how important it is to have self-confidence and not let ourselves be intimidated by the attitude or status of others. We cannot lose before playing.

Kobe’s self-confidence came from self-knowledge, discipline, and hard work. Knowing his strengths and weaknesses, he worked hard to further improve his strongholds so that his flaws did not have such a great weight in the game. Kobe meditated every morning; he practiced with the team; he did physical exercises; and he followed the guidelines of the coaches and physiotherapists. Knowing that I was ready, I was not afraid of the confrontations he would have to have during the games.

This is a valuable lesson for anyone who will enter into a negotiation with an interlocutor who you consider to be stronger and more powerful.

Prepare as best you can. Not only study the technical details of the trade, but prepare for the negotiation itself. Know the other side: the company and the representative you are going to negotiate with. Remember, it is a person who is negotiating with you, not an institution. Be in your best form, physically and emotionally. Build your BATNA.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. With that knowledge, work to make your strengths even better and try to reduce your vulnerability. Work your mind. Get inspired by Kobe and MJ.

By Alessandra Corrêa

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