Byron's Babbles


Posted in Football, Growth Mindset, Kobe Bryant, Leadership, MAMBA, super-bowl by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 2, 2020

Today, on this Super Bowl Sunday, ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown ran a great tribute to Kobe Bryant with reflections from pro football players. Click here to watch the video. One of the pro football players made the comment that they had learned so much from Kobe and had never met him or known him personally. Samantha Ponder and Randy Moss made very moving comments following the video. This made me reflect on what had I learned from this NBA great that I never met.

This loss needs to be a reminder to all that there are always people watching and using us as an example. While Kobe had a checkered past with mistakes that left scars on his life, there is still a great deal of positive examples to take from his life. What examples will others remember and take from your life?

Here’s my takeaways from Kobe:

K Keep fighting and Kill the opposition. He taught us to make the opposition believe they could never play at the level we play.

O – Make your purpose and passion become your Obsession. He taught us to fall in love with the process of what we do.

B Believe that if others can do something, you can too. When we follow in the footsteps and model our actions and habits after successful people, we can get similar or even better results.

E Embrace the mantra of MAMBA mentality. Kobe taught us that hard work outweighs talent every time. We were also taught to trust the process. Kobe said, “Without studying, preparation, and practice, your leaving the outcome to fate. I don’t do fate.”

Let’s remember Kobe by not doing fate.


Leadership Lessons From Super Bowl LII

IMG_1931How about this? Last night the underdog Philadelphia Eagles upset the defending champion New England Patriots, 41-33, to win their first Super Bowl ever. As is our family tradition, we went to our good friend’s home to watch and enjoy the Super Bowl. For this game I really did not have any dog in the fight, but found three things very interesting to reflect on during the game. First, it is such a credit to the Patriots to have been in the position of going for a record 6th Super Bowl title. Think about it, we say all the time it is tougher to stay at the top than to get there. So, kudos to the New England Patriots for that – staying at the top of the game. Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles had to work from being the underdog. In fact they were the underdog in all post-season games. Not an easy thing to do. Finally, my third area for reflection, and maybe the most important story, is the bench-building work of the Philadelphia Eagles. In other words, to lose a franchise quarterback and have one ready to take over like, Nick Foles, is amazing.

Nick Foles is quite the story when you think about the fact that he was considering walking away from professional football as recently as this past off-season. Then he won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award after leading the Eagles past the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII. There is no doubt that Carson Wentz was in control of the quarterback room prior to his injury, but it is also clear that the backup quarterbacks Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld were paying attention and learning. Credit Carson Wentz with leading by example in the quarterback room so that when it became Foles’ responsibility to hold the clicker, run the video, dissect the plays and report his insights, Foles was ready.

Additionally, I saw it reported somewhere that John DeFilippo, the Eagles’ quarterback coach, asked Foles to study the offensive plays he liked and choose 25 he thought worked best for him. DeFilippo wanted Foles’ input on plays and the concepts, too. Think about this leadership move by DeFilippo to create an effective package of run-pass option plays that suited Foles’ strengths. Since getting the starting nod in the game at Los Angeles, the Eagles offense has continually morphed into one for Foles rather than for Wentz. I would argue you cannot do this having some intentionality about bench building as an organization. In fact, we see other NFL teams that have done this well; the Dallas Cowboys come to mind. We have also teams not do this well, our Indianapolis Colts this past season when losing Andrew Luck. I am amazed how some teams are able to lose a paramount player and just keep going without missing a beat and others really struggle.

Could it be that it starts in the team room with how the bench is being modeled to, how the bench is being interacted with, and ultimately how the game plan was tweaked, adjusted, and iterated to meet the strengths of the backup? I would argue that it does. Certainly some lessons to be learned here from some reflection on the Super Bowl. What have you been reflecting on since Super Bowl LII?