How to Master Selflessness

I was sincerely impressed with an exemplary story about selflessness told by Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) in a recent interview about the 2012 U.S. Olympic Basketball team. For those of you who might not be familiar with Coach K, he is the prominent Duke University basketball coach and the USA Olympic Basketball coach who helped lead the U.S. to 10 gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals.

Coach K related the account of Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers, who demonstrated amazing selflessness as part of the 2012 Olympic team. Kobe did not push to be a forward, one of the players who shoots the ball into the basket and gets all the glory. Instead he took the route of the unsung hero, deciding he would serve the team better playing defense.

During the entire practice, Kobe did not take a single shot. He decided on the selfless mission. Instead of shining the flashlight on himself, he took the flashlight and aimed it at everyone else on the team. That’s what makes a true leader…the one that does what’s best for the whole team.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” Stop and think about what that really means. Kobe did. Every great leader does.

In the “game of life,” we are all teammates. We are all playing on one court. We need each other—not just ourselves—to win the game.

Being a good teammate is not about self. Sometimes it’s about self-sacrifice— sacrificing our wants and desires for the best interests of others. We need to keep reminding ourselves that a win is never enjoyed alone!

Cheers with water,

P.S. Do you have you have a personal example of selflessness? Please leave your comment to share your story and keep the conversation going.

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