There are times in a leader’s life when your frustration mounts to a point that you simply lose it.  Last week, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant reached such a point.  Following a loss to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, Bryant sat down with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for an interview as transparent as any you will ever watch.  I give Smith a tremendous amount of credit for pressing into the issues and Kobe’s thoughts. 

As I watched Bryant discuss the Lakers’ troubles, I flashbacked to times when I had been equally frustrated.  Kobe remained professional throughout much of the conversation but his eyes and body language spoke volumes.  He did, however, often put into words what many leaders feel when faced with needless adversity. 

The following are 16 quotes and principles that provide a profile of what frustrated leaders experience.  See if you don’t agree.

You can watch all four parts of the clicking Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

  • Not Facing Reality Frustrates Leaders – “We’re playing just terrible basketball.  We’re four games under .500 but it feels worse than that.”
  • Excuses Frustrate Leaders – “You can make a lot of excuses…but still in all none are sufficient enough.”
  • Lack Of Improvement Frustrates Leaders – “I’m staying patient as I possibly can not forget things I’ve learned…just focus on the games and pinpoint the mistakes we are making.”
  • Teammates Being Under-Utilized Frustrate Leaders – “He (Pao Gasol) needs to be in the post more, for sure.”
  • Poor Performance Frustrates Leaders – “His (Dwight Howard) free throw shooting has been poor…It’s his responsibility to take care of the line when he’s fouled.”
  • Losing Frustrates Leaders – “There are areas we are deficient at…I’ve been more frustrated by us losing games.”
  • Discouragement Frustrates Leaders – “I hope they’re (his teammates) feeling determined and not discouraged.”
  • Lack Of Options Frustrates Leaders – “I’m one of the fastest guys on the team and I’m 50.”
  • Lack Of Concern Frustrates Leaders – “This is something that needs to be a concern of your’s.” – Bryant to Howard on his free throw shooting.
  • Frustrated Leaders Are Demanding – “Playing with me is not easy.  I’m very demanding.”
  • Not Meeting Potential Frustrates Leaders – “I want to you to perform at your absolute best.  I want you to be great.  I drive a hard bargain.”
  • Lack Of Urgency Frustrates Leaders – “Sometimes you can want something so much that it slips away from you because you’re holding on to tight.  I have to be patient.  You have to stay focused on that.  You can’t allow frustration or urgency to choke the process.”
  • Not Paying The Price For Success Frustrates Leaders – “I’ll endure anything to win.”
  • Lack Of Passion Frustrates Leaders – “I’m determined and I’ll figure out a way to make that determination infectious to the team.”
  • Lack Of Process Frustrates Leaders – “The end goal is to win a championship but to get to that step you have to figure out the next step.”
  • Lack Of Pride Frustrates Leaders – “To reach a certain level of success in any field you’re in you have to have an ego that says, ‘I want to be the best.  This is what’s going to drive me and come hell or high water this needs to get done and I need to be successful.’  It’s a choice that you have to make.  You can have friends and be buddy-buddy throughout the course of your career or you can choose to have a few enemies and decide to be great at what you do.  That’s a decision everyone has to make at one point or another…5 championships speaks to the choice that I made.”

 I bet Kobe is making a lot of enemies right now.  What are some of the things that frustrate you as a leader?

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