NBA Hall of Famer basketball player turned successful entrepreneur, David Robinson teaches specifically how to cast a vision for your team that will keep your team engaged!Sign Up to Watch
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-Well, you know, the thing about your vision is through the Admiral Fund, and through Carver, you've wanted to help empower and to educate a generation of people that are without mentorship ,management training and who are drifting. And you've cast that vision. You've said that, at the Admiral Fund as we make money, we're going to set aside some of this money to give back.
And that's what immediately ignited my passion to connect with you, was that you had this vision that you were doing. And I said, that vision seems so similar to what we're trying to do. And it's interesting because other people, I saw some of their visions, and I said, I don't want to call that person.
So I think when you have a vision and it attracts people, it also can detract the people that maybe don't share your vision. So it's a big thing.
So if I'm watching this and I sincerely do not have a vision for my life, and being honest it's probably 8 out of 10 people watching this, who were buying the self help book, we started the LLC, we have some stuff, we're selling some things. I don't have a vision for my life. What would you recommend as the action step that I would take?
-Unfortunately, I meet a lot of people whose vision is to make as much money as they can.
And get through to tomorrow. But you know, I would just say, sit down. Take some time to figure out who you are. Figure out what your passions are, what your talents are. What are you going to contribute to society? That is really going to be the question you ask yourself in your life at some point. What am I contributing to society?
You'll find that everything you do as a vehicle to that vision. Whether it's your business, whether it's your family, everything you do is going to contribute to your overall vision. And my vision is to use the talents that I've been given. I'm seven feet tall, I run the floor, I dunk the basketball, I have communication skills, so my talents are, how do I focus all of my talents to give back, to contribute.
It's why I've been given my gifts. I have to give it back. I have to, in my mind, at the end of the day I'm going to go before the Lord and he's going to say, I gave you five talents-- maybe 10-- I gave you 10, now would what have you done with them? And I'm going to say, Lord, I invested those 10 talents and here's 10 more.
-So, Proverbs 29:18 it reads, where there is no vision, the people perish. But if again, if I'm watching this and I don't believe in the Bible, I'm not going to push my view on you, but why? Why does every business drift? Why does every organization fail? Why does every NBA franchise that doesn't have a vision fail? Why does every NBA player who retires with $50 million and loses it all? Why does the money disappear? Why does the business crumble? Why does the organization not succeed when there's no vision? Why?
-It's because we get away from mission, you know? And you can't build a mission unless you have a vision.
-Once you know where you're going, you could build your mission. You can say, this is what I want to accomplish every single day. This is where I'm going and this is how I plan on doing it. So once I build my mission, then I revisit my mission. And I mean, anybody in business, anybody in-- especially in non-profits will tell you, go back to mission every single year. Go review your mission statement. Are we doing it? Are we following?
Because that will guide your next step. That will guide your next action. So if you have no vision, then you have no mission. You have no mission, you have no way to correct the ship when you start going off track.
-An action step I like to give entrepreneurs is I like to give them a sheet of paper-- these people they'll pay me as a consult, I make them do this. So if you were a client of mine, I would say, well, hey. Take a sheet of paper. I'm going to come back in 30 minutes and I want you to write specifically where you are right now versus where you want to be in five years, in five areas.
And they say, five? I'm just here to talk business. And stop, you're paying me, so we're going to play my game here. Spirit, mind, body, relationships, finances. Spirit, mind, body, relationships, your physical body. And they say, what? Go ahead, write it down spirit, mind-- and we go through this. When they go through and they'd say, spirit, mind, body, relationships, finances. They are like, why is it in that order?
Because if you have a bunch of money, it doesn't matter. So we're going to get into this. And they come back, and we start to even change the way we do the business. We say, well, I'm no longer going to schedule you work Friday nights because that's when you're going to be with your wife, because that's one of your goals, is to have a better relationship five years from now.
So I think, everybody here, you might just want to hit pause. Take out a sheet of paper. And write down where you want to be five years from now in those areas.
-There's some exciting that happens.
-Yeah well you have to know what's important to you and you have to look ahead. We see that with our college age kids now. I try to sit them down and say, think about where you are going here. What do you want to be doing? And how are you going to do the things right now that will set you up for success in the future? And it's no different with a business. You cannot ignore. When you see civilization. They get successful and they rest on their laurels they lose their vision. And you see what happens to those civilizations. They just wither away. They start spending their time the wrong way. They start frittering away their talents and their resources. And then before they know it, they haven't renewed anything and now they're weak.
-What was the vision that you had when you played for the Spurs? What was the vision that the ownership had? And what was the vision that you had for the Spurs when you played?
-I had two things that I wanted to do. Number one was become the best player in the league. That was one of my goals. And then number two, was to build the best organization in the league. To have the best team when we walked out on the floor that we had the guys that communicated the best and played together the best that trusted each other on the floor.
-You wanted to be the best player in the league?
-Oh absolutely. Oh absolutely. I think that gives you a platform to speak. People they're not going to listen to you if you're not very good.
-People won't listen to you. How can I encourage the kids down the street if they don't really care. They don't even know who I am. So like I said, when I was coming out of college and I visited all those schools in DC, those kids would not listen to me if I wasn't the best player in college.
-You know. Then going into the NBA. Why would they listen to me?
-So your overall life philosophy is not to brag on yourself. But yet you had the goal to be the best. And I've noticed this. Every top entrepreneur I've ever met this what they say. It's amazing. I'll meet a dentist and I'll say what are your goals? To the best dentist in Oklahoma. Really? Or [INAUDIBLE] to be the best optometrists on the planet. Really? Yes. On the planet? Yes. To be the best photographer ever. One of our photographers, Cory, I remember we were talking to him. And he said his goal is to be like on of the best photographers on the planet. I'm just going what? But you see that. So I think that's a challenge. If you're watching this right now and you have made a goal to be the best, whatever you do. That's where it starts. And then your second goal is you wanted to win a championship. So--
-Don't undertake something if you don't think you can be the best at it. I mean that's why we start. You know. The reason you start a business or you're doing something is because you think you can do it better than the people who are doing it now. Or else you wouldn't get involved. You know you're going to get trampled by the competition, why would you start? So if you really think that you have the ability or the potential to be the best then it's not even worth starting it if you don't think you can get there.
-So the NBA draft happens and you hear that the San Antonio's Spurs select Tim Duncan. So in your I'm just curious how that went down. Did part of you say, I am not too excited about this because I've been the best player on this team for a long time. Or were you so sold out to the vision of winning a championship where you thought, yes here comes the reinforcements.
-All of me said, yay.
I don't care necessarily about the outcome. We get so tied up wrapped up and that's who we are. If I don't get to be the best then I lose. You don't lose. Are you kidding me? You don't lose. The journey has made you so much stronger and so much better. And so for me to have a guy on my team who could help me get better. Now if we go into practice everyday I still think I'm a better player. I'm going to go and compete against him every single day. It's going to make me better.
-Did he think he was better than you?
-And you though you were better than him?
-Oh I knew I was.
-But you know that's the great thing about competition. You bring in talent and it just raises the whole level of the organization.
-So staying on the focus of this vision, you actually picked up the phone. You called Tim Duncan. This is the legend, I don't know of this the true legend. But you called him and said hey, come out to my chateau in Colorado.
-My abode. And then you invited him to come to your house in Colorado to meet him.
-Is this true?
-Well not just to meet him. To work out with him. To begin that process of putting him in a position where he could succeed. Like I told you that really is my philosophy. I felt like here's a young guy. Very, very talented young guy. But you now, green from the NBA. Doesn't really know what's going on. Doesn't know the whole system. What it takes to play 82 games. You're coming off of where you just played 30.
-Yeah. It's a whole different thing preparing for an 82 game season. Then a 20 more games and 20 to 30 more games in the playoffs. So I knew I struggled with that my first year. We went deep into the playoffs and my mind was spinning. I had no idea what to do. This is my 110th game. Wow. How do I play? How do I even get myself up for this?
-So I wanted to walk him through that process and that was the beginning. And I said come over to my house. We will work out every day. And we'll talk about what it's going to take to--
-Did he live with you?
-No. No. No. He just came out. And we just spent some time together. A few days together out in Colorado. And just ran up and down the mountain and worked out. And just setting a tone for what the expectation was.
-Now did you at any point have a conversation with him about kind of turning over the keys? Because outside the stadium or on a commercial typically they put the star player. So here is Larry Bird in the Celtics, Michael Jordan and the Bulls. And I know you guys had a neat little marketing campaign there about the twin towers. But at some point did you say, hey Tim as a team for the health of the vision of the team here, you're going to be more of the offensive focus. And I'm going to be more of a complementary role. Or did you have that discussion? Did you ever talk about this?
-We never had that discussion. No. I think that happens naturally. The torch passes naturally.
-As long as I can do anything, I'm going to do it.
And so as long as I was with the team, I knew that leadership would be a big responsibility of mine. So I would be the leader. And I would help direct and encourage people. Give vision to the guys on the team. And so Tim was ready to take that over. We all have to understand succession. You know. You want to have a succession plan in business. You want to have a succession plan in sports. A succession plan in your family. I mean you just have to have that. And so I knew that that was part of the process. Timmy knew that there was going to come a time when he was going to have to become the man. Take over. And I try to put him in a place where he didn't feel like he needed to rush. He could learn what he needed to learn. And gradually gain that confidence, responsibility. And then move forward.
-But your vision for winning what allowed you to not have your feelings hurt. Now the reason I mentioning this is because there is one player who comes to my mind-- there's a lot of players but one in particular I can think of --who was known as being a fierce competitor. And he could not coexist with other stars. And he just could not. He just couldn't pass the ball. Couldn't fathom the idea of not scoring 30 points a game. And therefore his career just kind of fell apart once he wasn't the man anymore. But it seemed like you actually had more success when you guys teamed up together.
-Yeah. Well you have to still keep in mind the organization. You know what's best for the organization. I have my own personal goals. But they are always subjugated to the organization. And I think that didn't slow me down whatsoever. It helped to change my focus a little bit once I realized how talented Timmy was and that his natural place was to be our leading scorer. Our go to man. That was fantastic. It just allowed me to focus on other areas where I felt like I had a better strength.
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