“Activate Kobe! You gotta activate the ball!”
I was watching the Lakers play the Spurs the other night and
heard Coach Phil Jackson communicate the challenge above to Kobe Bryant during
a timeout. In this moment, he was
telling Kobe that he had been trying too hard to pass it to his teammates, and
he needed to go back to being active, not passive. Kobe became the aggressor in the next 3 possessions and made
three incredible shots as well as a great pass to teammate Pau Gasol as Kobe
drew the defense to him leaving Gasol open for a dunk.
Activate the ball means more than shooting the ball or keeping it yourself. Activate the ball literally means to create more offense through your own shot or effective ball movement. It means being a threat to drive, pass, or score which opens up opportunities for yourself and for your teammates. Many times, I see leaders in sports, business, and life who are not “activating the ball.” They operate from one of three leadership styles rendering themselves, their team, and their organization ineffective.
The first style is being too passive. Some leaders relinquish their
responsibilities to guide, direct, coach, and grow the talent around them. This passive behavior can come as the
result of a lack of coaching competence, a desire to avoid giving feedback
(both positive and constructive, and a lack of understanding about what
motivates and inspires the people around them.
The second style is being domineering and
controlling. This extreme can be
seen in selfish leaders who think their people exist to provide them with their
position. Selfish leaders
operating from this extreme are threatened by the success of their team and are
not willing to grow and share their experience with their people. They fear the greatness in others
versus relishing in the talent of their people.
Other leaders operate from a third style based on limiting beliefs. These leaders are not necessarily threatened by the greatness of others, but they are guided by a limiting belief that tells them they are the only one who can accomplish a task. These types of leaders do not believe and trust in the talent and potential of their people, and they operate from this paradigm in the way they assign tasks and communicate to their team both verbally and nonverbally. People walk on eggshells trying to constantly prove their worth, because everything in the environment communicates that you are incompetent till proven competent.
The best leaders are activators. They are active in the lives of other people and communicate
belief and trust in the talent and potential of the people around them. Activators grow their talent by sharing
wisdom and lessons learned to help expedite the learning curve. They also “activate the ball;” simply
put, they strive to be their best every day and in so doing, they inspire
others to be their best as well.
Activators understand the world around them, and they seek opportunities
to positively impact people at home, at work, and in their community. They effectively balance “scoring” when
they need to and “passing off to a teammate” when necessary.
My challenge to you is not to sit back and watch the world go by… Be an Activator and make things happen for you and for those in your sphere of influence.
Activate the Ball in this Moment!
Key Question: What does it mean to you to "Activate?"
For more information about these and other principles that will help you perform in the moment in all of your roles in life, check out Mike Van Hoozer's book: Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most.
For more information on hiring Mike to speak to your organization, click here.
For coaching information, check out: Unleash Your Potential!