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Work Ethic is Hard to Teach So Let’s Try Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’

I am a novice basketball fan and know the game well and vaguely follow the NBA and college basketball (moreso during March Madness) but like a lot of people, I am deeply moved and saddened over the recent passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash with his 13-year old daughter Gianna and 7 others.

Today, there are moving tributes in social and traditional media.

TNT‘s NBA on TNT has an excellent one airing that my husband watched last night and urged me to do the same.

I am struggling with it because each video, image and tweet devastate me even more. The extreme visceral reaction from a lot of us who never knew him personally says something about a person, you know, that even casual observers can be so affected by their loss.

While Bryant is probably best known for his records and uber competitive spirit, the one thing that I, personally, admired Bryant for was his very strong work ethic which is the basis for his success and ability to be on top.

When you can, head over to Business Insider and read a recent article about 24 examples of Bryant’s impeccable work ethic HERE!

As a parent and parenting blogger and expert, I am always working on, reading about and discussing the challenge teaching  work ethic to children.

It is my opinion that either you have that drive to succeed and complete any task presented to you (be in in school, on the field, in work or wherever)  or you do not.

Some kids will assess a goal and put in the work to get it done, with varying level of tenacity and some will not, unless pushed, bribed, cajoled or directed to with painstaking detail and instructions. Those in the latter group do not necessarily have strong work ethic.

I’ve long believed that  those in the category that some parents may call “lazy” have to be drilled and drilled until the method of accomplishing a task becomes a habit.

At that point, they will finally be able handle the task automatically.

Examples include the process of undertaking the precise steps to craft a well-researched term paper, or execute an Algebraic equation or increase execution of a skill or athletic drill.

With habit and repeated action, the task eventually will become second nature.

The problem with this method is that there is a risk that the child will not necessarily know how to readjust and create similar formula for another task on their own, or in college or at work, when there is not a parent, coach or other adult figure in their lives to show and guide them.

Like I said, it’s one of my most difficult challenges as a parent.

We just have to keep experimenting and trying like this morning, motivated by the stories he heard from Bryant’s coaches, mentors, fellow players and friends my husband called our two boys to the dining room to explain that although Kobe Bryant was already excellent and one of the greatest NBA players around, he still worked harder and trained more than his co-horts at the top.

We are working on getting our boys especially to try harder at the things they are not good at, using Kobe Bryant’s work ethic as an example.

I hope it sinks in, but even if it doesn’t I hope they still can still have the Bryant benchmark in mind as they move forward in school, work and life.


7 Things You Should NEVER Say to Your Pregnant Co-Worker

pregnant worker

pregnant worker

Several years back, I did a segment on a local TV show with 10 things people should avoid saying or doing to a pregnant woman they come in contact with.

Pregnancy is a stressful time for many women. Expecting mamas are considered “community property” in that the general public feel a certain amount of affection towards them.  At work, moms-to-be are trying to navigate work expectations, stay on track, make adjustments to accommodate fatigue, morning sickness and in the early stages keep the news under wraps.

The US outlaws pregnancy discrimination at work outright, but many pregnant women say there are subtle ways even the most well-intentioned coworkers can make them feel ostracized.

Business Insider published an article this week with a list of 7 things HR professionals and other experts recommend people. avoid saying to their pregnant co-worker:


Some comments, like asking the baby’s gender, might seem well intentioned but come across as invasive. Other questions can make pregnant women feel alienated and might even discourage them from returning to the same job.

Here are seven things you should never say to a pregnant coworker — plus tips on what you should say.

Wow! You’re Getting Big

Comments regarding a woman — or anyone’s — body are never allowed in the workplace, said Alison Green, the creator of the popular work advice site Ask a Manager.

“No one wants to feel her colleagues are scrutinizing her body,” Green told Business Insider.

Additionally, pregnant women may already be anxious about their baby’s growth, as well as getting used to normal bodily changes that happen, said Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job” Taylor also designs belts that help pregnant women feel more comfortable during these physical changes.

“Being pregnant in the office is a sensitive time in terms of what you hear from your coworkers,” Taylor told Business Insider. “I think most people in this nine-month period just want to be treated like your average employee, so try not to treat them very differently.”

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