Creating an Organizational Culture of Excellence Key to Business Success Black Mamba. Kobe Wan Kenobi. KB24.

Whatever you call him, Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash with his daughter and seven others, wasn’t only a Jedi Master on the court – he was an organizational wizard off it, as well.

While the remarkable lessons of Kobe’s legacy transcend basketball and can be applied to all facets of life, some of the biggest teachings can be learned by human resources at small businesses to help build not just a high-performing workforce, but more importantly an organizational culture of excellence.

With the right strategies, policies, and leadership in place, human resources leaders can embody the “Mamba Mentality” that helped Kobe cement his place as one of the greatest basketball players of all time and attract, train, and retain the type of workforce that builds scalable, sustained success.

1. Set and Uphold a Standard of Excellence

You don’t win five NBA championships without a culture of excellence.

Excellence, of course, demands the best of people and Kobe wasn’t always easy to play with. While there may be resistance from some to becoming the best they can be, creating an organizational culture of excellence is something that needs to be role modeled from the top for employees to follow.

2. Focus on the Long-Term Game

Quick wins rarely produce the kind of sustained growth small businesses crave.

Keeping engaged, high-performing employees around for the long run is one of the most important things human resources teams can stay focused on because it instills an organizational culture of ownership, loyalty, and commitment to seeing things through to the end.

Kobe’s resume is as impressive as anything – 18 all-star appearances on top of his 5 championships –  but perhaps just as extraordinary was his loyalty to the long-term success of the Los Angeles Lakers, remaining with the team throughout his career because he viewed the organization as his home.

3. Hard Work is Key to Everything

Kobe was famous for showing up to practice at 5 am and not leaving until 7 am.

While still in high school.

Although it’s important for human resources to instill a work ethic that matches their organizational goals, it’s just as key to strike a balance between performance and wellness – creating a culture where employees push themselves to go the extra mile because they want to, not because they’re forced.

4. Leadership Fosters Leadership

“To be an effective leader, you have to be a really good listener,” Kobe said in a pep talk to the University of Alabama as reported by CNBC.

What Kobe was getting at was the importance of being able to sense what’s really going during times of strife and being able to take the steps necessary as a leader to ensure the team succeeds.

Like Kobe’s philosophy on leadership, human resources can ensure their company’s leaders are in tune with the real problems and concerns of others in order to find a successful resolution.

5. Conceive, Believe, and Achieve: The Mamba Mindset

Kobe looked up to players like Michael Jordan and aspired to be great like him.

What followed was an unbelievable career and playing style that, perhaps, came the closest to Jordan than anyone else ever has. All because he believed it was possible.

By ensuring your human resources team creates HR strategies that prioritize the importance of reflecting success habits from leaders onto others, you can accelerate a high-success culture.

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