Ignite, Kobe

It was Kahlil who shattered my Monday morning zen from NYC. I got his message in Manila just before 5am, as I was unpacking my energies to start another action-packed week.



Barely an hour later I was first in the gym, opened Moro as usual before 6am. As the coaches and athletes trickled in it was all the mega chatter I could hear. I was determined to beat the frenzied hysteria and make as normal a Monday as I could. Focused, determined, methodical. There was always so much to pack into Mondays, more so that last Monday of the first month of a new decade, already a record-breaking month in the office.

By the time I did get to the office past 130pm and convened our Monday all-hands, I knew what I had to do. The voice had grown loud and clear even as I obliterated my deskwork to-do list throughout the morning. I remember sneaking a quick huddle with the CRM team even as the rest of our R&D session was looking on, waiting for me to start. Sure, we had to greenlight key upgrades for a CRM release in 24 hours, but I knew I was also buying myself time.

Finally I started our Monday all-hands without a word, walking to the board and scribbling those 8 letters we all knew by heart.


I called on the youngest member of our team (i.e., the most recent to join) to sound off what the 8 stood for.


8 words that represented what we called the throughput, or lifelong journey, of every human being if we are to live our deepest truth and so fulfill our highest potential.

8 words that signaled precisely how we will serve every person, team, and organization we touch.

8 words that codified the most powerful mission statement I have ever known brought to life by a team.

8 words that I then scratched off the board as I declared to everyone’s bewilderment…

Today we can spell our mission: K-O-B-E.

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That’s who Kobe Bryant was. Even a lifelong Boston Celtic diehard who has no love for anything LA could respect that. Not just respect; I had to celebrate and honor what he stood for. Kobe Bryant fully personified our Ignite mission and brought it to life by living it fully in his life.

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Live your deepest truth and so fulfill your greatest promise. Kobe lived life as all of us should. It is up to us who are still here to do the same.



Andre Yap February 2, 2020