In this transcript, Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) sits down with David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion & co-founder of $250 million Admiral Capital Group) to discuss casting a vision on Thrive15.com, one of the top customer service training programs!
Clay Clark: My name is Clay Clark and I’m the COO of Thrive15.com and today I am honored to be joined with a guy that I cheered for as a kid, a guy that I’ve always admired, one of my heroes, David Robinson, the NBA hall of fame. He’s going to be teaching us specifically about leadership and vision.
Now David was able to win two NBA championships, two gold medals and bronze medal, and he was able to grow a successful school, and now a capital fund. This guy is phenomenal, he is lights out, he’s dynamic, and he’s going to be teaching us specifically what you and I can do to instill the best practices for leadership and vision right there in your own business.
David, thank you for letting me join you today, my friend.
David Robinson: All right, thank you Clay, I appreciate that.
Clay Clark: Hey, I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this, we’re talking about leadership and vision. And vision is so important, because from a Biblical perspective, without a vision the people perish, but let’s just look at it from a strictly secular perspective, where there’s not a vision, companies don’t have success. So Webster says this, this is how my good friend Webster defines the word vision: “The ability to see. Sight or eye sight. Something that you imagine. A picture that you see in your mind. Something that you see or dream especially as part of a religious or supernatural experience.” David, how would you define what a vision is as it relates to business?
David Robinson: Well as it relates to business, vision is having a place that you want to go. It’s seeing the promised land, so to speak, to continue the biblical analogy. You can’t lead someone someplace if you don’t know where you’re going, and vision is knowing that destination.
Clay Clark: So in your mind, is it possible for someone to be an effective leader if they don’t have a big vision for their team or their organisation?
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David Robinson: No, it is not possible. I think you can have certain traits, but if you don’t know where you’re going, there’s no way you can lead them there.
Clay Clark: I want to really hammer this for a second, because I know there’s somebody watching this right now that needs to hear this. There’s small business owners all across the country, there’s one guy in particular I can think of, his goal, he told me, he says “My goal,” for his business, “is to make $100,000 a year, to put my kids in college and to provide healthcare for my family.” Which I thought was a noble goal for himself personally. I said “Well what about for the company? What about the company?” He says “Well, I mean, that’s my vision, it’s for me, and then everyone works for me, not with me but for me, to help me do this.”
David Robinson: “They’re all helping my life achieve a certain level!”
Clay Clark: And I, so I go to his office, I meet his front desk guy, meet the person who’s on the phone in the back, I meet some of other assistants he has, and they’re depressed. We’ve all seen these businesses before, you walk in, there’s no energy, there’s no joy, there’s no décor, by the way. There’s no pictures on the walls, you can tell they haven’t spent any money on painting the place, or taking care of their bathroom, and it just feels depressing.
David Robinson: Right, absolutely.
Clay Clark: And he talks about, it’s hard to find good people.
David Robinson: “To help me! It’s hard to find a lot of people that see my vision for my self!” That’s a tough one. I can understand why he had trouble doing that!
Clay Clark: You just said, and I hope you heard this if you’re watching, you can play it back, is you said it’s not possible to be a great leader without a vision.
David Robinson: Right. Clearly the guy you’re talking about in that example was not interested in leadership, he was interested in achieving a goal for himself. Now, if you’re interested in leadership, leadership is a whole different animal because in my book, a leader cares more about people than they care about themselves. So in my book, a leader is looking out for the people that are following him. He wants to take them somewhere. So they may not know all the best things to do for themselves, but you as a leader should say “Hey, I’m not going to let you do something, because I think it’s going to take away.” As a father you look at your children and you say “I am a leader for these children, I’m not going to let you do certain things that I know are going to hurt you, because I care more about you than you even care about yourself at this moment. I’m trying to take you somewhere.” And so that’s what a leader does, a leader has a vision for his company. His company has a function, it has a mission for the company, but at the same time, it’s made up of all of these different lives. All of these people that are relying on you, as the leader. So you have to have a vision, not just for the organisation, but for each person that’s working for you, or they’ll be flat and dead like you saw at that organisation.
Clay Clark: Someday, if we could find a way to reduce your size where you could sneak in ‘Undercover Boss’ style, if you were to go with me to different businesses and speaking events and meet a lot of small business owners, a lot of people, I’d say a lot, eight out of ten, don’t have a clear vision. And their employees know it – and you just said that you want to have a vision for all your employees.
David Robinson: Absolutely.
Clay Clark: And again this is coming from a place of credibility, and I know you don’t want to brag on yourself, but I just want to say this. You’ve been a champion on the court, you have the gold medals and the bronze medal and you’ve won the NBA championships but off the court, Carver did well.