In this next transcript, David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion & co-founder of $250 million Admiral Capital Group) & business coach Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) discuss over-delivering and customer service training on Thrive15.com.
Clay Clark: I’m stepping into a new phase with business and it’s still helping me accomplish many of the same goals I wanted to accomplish in the community and it’s stimulating my business coach senses and my intellect and so it’s fantastic when you have a vision about what you want to do, who you want to be, and understand that all of it is, if you have gifts, use them. Use them in every single area that you can. Use them in your marriage, use them at work, use those gifts in a way that will benefit people and it will pay off in the long run.
David Robinson: I have a question. Did you not like basket ball during high school?
Clay Clark: I wouldn’t say high school, my first two years at college I did not like basketball, I mean I was, it was my scholarship, it was my opportunity to go to school, so I certainly felt a responsibility to my school. But I didn’t think going to practice everyday was particularly fun and beating my body up everyday was particularly fun. At that point I was not great. I was marginal. I put in a lot of time, a lot of energy and a lot of work and wasn’t getting a lot of wonderful feedback yet, so yes, it was a challenge for a little stretch there playing basketball.
It was also a wonderful opportunity. It got me into a wonderful school and it opened some doors for me so I continued to pursue it.
David Robinson: So where do you get this work ethic from as a business coach? Where did you get this idea, because you really became a believer in the Christian faith basically during your rookie year, that became very intense for you, but even during college your work ethic is somewhat legendary. The idea that you would at least apply yourself all the time. Where does that come from?
Clay Clark: I hate to admit it, but probably more fear than anything else. Fear of failure. I wanted to be great at something, at anything. I felt like I had a lot of abilities but I wasn’t making the most of those abilities and I know a lot of people probably feel that way. They feel like I am just not taking advantage of what I have, and when you have gifts and you have opportunities and you’ve squandered some of those opportunities it presses in your mind more than you need figure out a way to be better.
David Robinson: Lee Cockrell, the guy that used to run Walt Disney World Resorts, he said that fear was one of his motivators too. His mother had been married numerous times and he basically was raised in somewhat of a way where he wanted to prove that he was worthy and he had this fear and some insecurities there.
It doesn’t really matter where we get the work ethic from, but we need one.
Clay Clark: And maybe fear is a little bit of a strong word. One of the great things for me is I was never afraid of people or the circumstance. I was afraid that I would not reach my potential. I never wanted to be the reason I don’t reach my potential, so in that sense, the fear of failure, of not becoming what I was supposed to become was really my driver.
I can relate to what Lee Cockerell said, because certainly when I stepped out there on the court, I did not want to be the weakest guy, the smallest guy, the worst business coach, I remember my freshmen year in college, I read the Washington Post and the newspaper had this article about me, it was about the team, but it said this young six-seven freshmen that Navy has, shows some promise but at times he’s painfully frail and looks like a swizzle stick in a blender.
David Robinson: That’s what they said? Wow.
Clay Clark: That’s what they said. So I cut the article out and I taped it on my board and I said no one will ever call me a swizzle stick in a blender ever again.
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So for me. That was a motivation. I did not want to be that business coach guy. I worked a little bit out of just that, see I hate to say fear because fear is not a great motivator necessarily, but I did not want to be that guy and I knew I had the ability to change it.
David Robinson: People do not realize and I did not realize until talking to you about it earlier, that you were one of the more slender centers, you were giving up weight to Hakeem Olajuwon. How many pounds were you given?
Clay Clark: Hakeem was probably 260 and I was 230. So for my first eight years in the league, every year I came in at 235. I’m 235. Most of those centers, Patrick’s at 255-260. Hakeem’s at 255-260. Then you’ve got the bigger guys like Shaq who’s at three something, I don’t know exactly what he is, but he was three something so maybe a hundred pounds more than me.
The fear of going out there and getting embarrassed by any of these guys made me say, I’m going to prepare myself as well as I can.