The Components of Killer Instinct

Two years ago I asked, Is a killer instinct necessary in business and life? There were some good comments. But I’ve never thought hard about what the components of a "killer instinct" actually are. In this Sports Illustrated piece praising Kobe Bryant’s "freakish love of the game" and peerless tenacity, there’s this interesting graf:

Idan Ravin, a personal trainer who works with…Carmelo Anthony, Gilbert Arenas and Elton Brand and is known by some in the league as "the hoops whisperer" for his effect on players, has even broken killer instinct down into components: love of the game, ambition, obsessive-compulsive behavior, arrogance/ confidence, selfishness and nonculpability/ guiltlessness. He sees them all in Bryant.

Earlier there’s this:

There are no plus-minus stats to measure a player’s ruthlessness, his desire to beat his opponent so badly he’ll need therapy to recover. One thing’s for sure: You can’t teach it.

I wonder whether similar observations could be made in business. Are the big time CEOs freakishly competitive, mind-blowingly arrogant, and singularly focused on their business goals even at the cost of "balance"?

(hat tip:

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