Season after season, major NBA analysts and ex-stars compare Kobe Bryant to some of the NBAs greatest such as Michael Jordan. The 6-6, 212 pound Los Angeles Laker has some of the most impressive statistics, including, an 81 points in a game in which the Lakers scored 122 with the highest percentage of points one player has ever scored in a game for both teams in NBA history.

Even though Kobe Bryant full time job isn't running a business, being a successful athlete you learn a lot about the steps one most take to be successful. The reality is that even successful NBA players like Kobe have their ups and downs. 

Here are 4 things Kobe Bryant lives by that have allowed him to achieve greatness.

1. Be a true leader

Winning 5 NBA championships, and being one of the highest scoring NBA players are feats of excellence that couldn't have been achieved on his own. To achieve these, and many more successful statistics, Kobe had to be a successful leader.

Kobe describes how his leadership style is focused on turning uncomfortable, needed conversations into successful interactions. For example, Kobe describes himself as the person to tell you that you have something in between your teeth, instead of avoiding telling you.

Similarly, being a successful leader means that people won't get along with you, such as the relationship between Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe. Kobe mentioned that he "didn't want to pass the ball to Shaq" because Shaq didn't believe that hard work was necessary.

2. Set your goal clear

When Kobe entered the NBA at 17, he made it very clear that he had only one goal in mind, which was to win as many championships as possible. For Kobe, he knew that his salary, success with other teammates, and as a player would be predicated on his ability to win championships.

By keeping this goal in mind, Kobe has already been an NBA champ 5 times, and the main reason behind that was his ability to define success early.

3. Balance of fundamentals with spirituality

The first time Kobe met Phil Jackson, he knew instantaneously that there was a difference in how they played the game. Kobe focused entirely on his fundamentals, and believed that his fundamentals alone would win him championships.

However, Phil Jackson taught him that the movement of the ball, rituals before and after the game, and even environment of the stadium affected his success. Interesting after the two joined hands in LA, they achieved astronomical success, and continue to be successful as a team.

4. Love the process

Many of us love to jump to the top quickly. In fact, if you were to ask most entrepreneurs would they be a millionaire now or in 5 years, most would say now.

This wasn't the way Kobe liked to think.

In fact, as Kobe got older, he saw innate beauty in seeing how far he could stretch himself to still be successful as a player. For example, when Shaquille O'neal left, no one believed he could win a championship without him. Or, when he tore his rotator cuff, he wanted to see how long he could last, even though critics didn't think he would be able to play again.

Loving the process gave Kobe the ability to enjoy the ride, instead of just the destination.