In a world where emails never stop flying in, voice mails never stop piling up, and text messages often come in every few minutes, how is it possible for one to be proactive? Learn the high art of being proactive during this training.Sign Up to Watch
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-My name is Clay Clark, and you might have seen me in such feature films as-- there's a massive list that I have somewhere, but today I'm joined with NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson. This guy was a member of the original dream team. This guy's won two NBA championships, two gold medals.
He started an investment capital fund. He started a successful school. He's a successful father. He's been married for a long time. This guy's awesome, and he's going to be teaching us in this management training about how to be proactive in a busy world.
Now I can only imagine how many calls and emails and texts this guy gets on a daily basis, but yet he's proactive about ordaining his own destiny, about deciding what his future is going to be like, and he's going to be teaching you and I, specifically, how we can be proactive in this very, very busy world that we live in. Remember at thrive15.com, we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you are watching today's episode, make sure to ask yourself, self, what can I do to uniquely apply these principles in my own life and business? Otherwise, today's episode may just prove out to be more meaningless than your ranking in Mario Kart.
David Robinson, thank you for being here, sir.
-No, thank you, Clay.
-I appreciate it. I think a lot of people when we're watching someone like yourself on Thrive, we begin to say things like, I don't know how they get it all done. Because you have 24 hours a day, I have 24 hours a day, and I think we all look at successful people and say, how do they find time? And so what we're talking about here is specifically the idea of being proactive in a very busy world.
So David, the bestselling author, Stephen Covey-- he has famously written numerous books on success and management training-- but he says, "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." What's that all about, accepting the idea that we can decide how our future's going to be? Do you believe that we can decide how our future's going to be?
-To a certain extent. I think you have a strong influence on how your future's going to be. Ultimately, I believe that our future is in God's hands, but I do believe you can have a large impact on it. How you act and how you prepare yourself-- you can give yourself a great chance for success.
-Now I guess a good example of how I've seen you really make a decision to make the world a better place was that you drove every day to the stadium to play basketball, and you saw poverty all around you in San Antonio. And you decided to start a school to help some of the kids who were living in poverty rather than just talking about the issue. You actually decided to take an action step and to get involved. What caused you to be proactive about making a difference rather than just reacting?
-Well, when you're blessed, you have a responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. So to me, if I saw that-- I saw those people in need, and I felt that I could do something about it, then I felt like I needed to make that a reality.
So our arena was right downtown, right near a church that I was going to, right near a barbershop that I go to. So I got a chance every day to go down there and see people's lives, and I thought, there's a way I can make a difference. I can encourage these kids. I can give them opportunities and open doors to them that they may otherwise not have seen.
-Now if I'm somebody watching this I might be saying, well that's great about being proactive, but I have kids. I'm married, or I have a phone that's always ringing. I'm getting emails, I'm getting Facebook updates. I'm getting Twitter feeds. When you were in the NBA always waking up in a different city-- I mean, you wake up all time. I bet you there was times you forgot what city you were in.
-Many times, yes.
-And with the game being played every third night, how did you stay proactive about your marriage, and stay proactive about your kids? A lot of guys in the NBA and all sports, they retire. There's was a statistic that came out in "GQ," and it said that a little over 60% of all players go into bankruptcy.
DAVID ROBINSON: After they retire.
-After they retire, within four or five years.
-That sounds like a pretty accurate number.
-So how do you stay proactive about those things with all those demands?
-It's difficult, it really is. You have to set priorities. I mean, it's just that simple. You have to decide what is important to you, and then you put your time and your money and your energy towards those things.
So for me, yes, I was busy. I was traveling a lot. I was away from my family a lot, but when I had the opportunity to be with my family, I set time aside to say, my time is now yours. Whether it's the summertime, and we spend two months away from the city, away from everything, just hanging out as a family.
I let my boys know that you're high on my priority scale now. You're at the top. If you need anything, I'm going to be there. You know, I have to work. I have to be gone sometimes, but when I'm here, I'm here for you.
-Now Jack Welch, the CEO-- a former CEO-- of GE. He says, "Control your own destiny or somebody else will." So the idea of taking control of our day, it's an idea that new to a lot of people. I know it was new to me. What do you do during the first hour of your day to kind of take control of your day? What do you do every day that's sort of like your routine when you wake up?
-Prayer, for me. That gets my mind in a right place. It gives me a right perspective. Going into your day, there's always 1,000 things that are drawing your attention. Everyone wants you to call them. All kinds of things need to happen. There's pressures. There's things not going right. There's things that are pending. There's always 1,000 things.
And so for me, prayer gives me a sense of the-- I don't want to say, the lack of importance of those thingss-- but the proper perspective of those things. And that failure isn't really failure. And it's all in God's hands. So as I pray, it helps me to put those things in the right order. And if I don't succeed in a particular area, then I understand, hey, maybe this is an opportunity for me to learn and to grow.
-I'm only asking you this because I know you that you've preached a few sermons and I know that you're a man of God. When you say you pray, how much time do you devote to prayer?
-The more time, the better. I'll tell you that much. That's one thing I have learned. In the morning, maybe it might be 15 minutes. It might be 30 minutes. And if I'm particularly stressed, it might be an hour. But that time to me is really refreshing. It's just time where I can get rid of my own anxiety and listen to God's voice.
And for me, prayer settles me down. It gives me the big picture that everything that's happening here-- just take it one step at a time. All things work together for good for those who love God. So it's all going to work out. It gives me time to really trust to God.
And I think it's the same, if you have a relationship with your wife, you get to know your wife's voice. You get to hear and understand. Even if she's trying to fool you, you pick up the phone and you're talking to her. You're like, hey, that's you , isn't it, baby?
It's the same way with God. I think the more time you spend reading your Bible and praying, you start to hear his voice and you kind of know when it's God speaking to you. And it's like, OK, don't worry. I'll take care of it. OK, Lord. Thank you. We're moving on. So it's a relationship thing you get to feel.
-Do you use a to-do list and a DayTimer of some kind?
-Oh, absolutely. Well, everybody's got a call phone now. But I have different to-do lists on my cell phone that I use every day. I'm terrible if I don't write things down.
-Is there a certain app that you like to use, Dave?
-There's a couple different apps that I use. There's a relatively obscure app named Tasks, which-- creative name. I've been using it on my new little phone that I got, but the other one was a reminders that I used to use on my other phone. So there's a zillion apps. You find something that helps you. But write things down. There's all these things happening all the time, you got to keep tabs of them some way. And your mind's not really built to hold everything in.
-As a business consultant, I work with a lot of companies. I work with dentists and neurologists and plastic surgeons and all different people that have very fancy titles and big companies and then people that have small businesses. And what I find, there's a huge separation. It's almost like the people without DayTimers and to-do lists are stuck here. And the people that have these very successful companies have DayTimers and planners and to-do lists.
And it's almost impossible, at a certain point, to have any sort of success because there's so many things that you need to do that you'll forget stuff.
-So that's a fundamental.
-Our minds are not built to categorize and prioritize all of our things that need to get done that day, that week, that month-- our goals for the week, the month. So unless your brilliant and you can memorize everything, it's better to just write it down and you can always refer back to it. It keeps you on point, on target.
-How do you schedule your day? I mean do you wake up, after your prayer time, do you look at your things that need to get done, or the things that people think you need to get done? And somewhat say, OK, well I'm going to call this person back at nine, and then go to that meeting at noon, and go work out here at four? Do you actually put stuff in your planner like that?
DAVID ROBINSON: Yeah, I try to. I mean, organization is not my particular strength, so I have an assistant and a beautiful wife that do a great job at helping me stay organized. So when I wake up in the morning, I look at my calendar, my day has generally been planned out. So usually when I get to that day, it's too late to put a bunch of other things on there.
But that to me is wonderful. It gives me a good structure. I know exactly what's coming that day. And then I'm able to kind of play by ear, and order the things that I think need to get done.
-If you're sitting down talking to a business owner right now, who just, for whatever reason, has never used a day planner, has never used a to do list, and he's just very reactive. They are not executing their marketing plan. They're not spending time with the kids. They're just sort of reacting. I think we've all been guilty of being there at one point or another.
What would you say to the reactor? What would you say right now? What kind of advice would you give to that person?
DAVID ROBINSON: I would just say, if you're spending your time reacting to issues all day, you're not being particularly efficient at all. You're missing out on a lot of the benefits of being an owner or being a father or being a husband or-- You're missing out on the joyful parts of that.
Once you have those things under control somewhat, then you can actually enjoy being the owner. And you can enjoy being the husband, and enjoy being the father. So sometimes we end up chasing our tail, and we're running in circles all day long, and we get, really, nothing done. And we're not able to enjoy ourselves.
But I think if you want to take the time to plan a little bit--
DAVID ROBINSON: You'll be able to enjoy it a ton more.
-I've noticed that for me, as a business owner, one thing that's happened is, to a very small degree, but in 2007 when I was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Oklahoma, a lot of people reached out to me with a lot of opportunities. And I noticed that some, at first you are flattered with opportunities, so I found myself saying yes, yes, yes.
And then over time, I've learned that if it doesn't have a big upside that relates to my vision for my family and for my faith and my business, I just don't even really entertain it.
DAVID ROBINSON: Right.
-You probably spend more of your time saying no. I mean, in order to avoid reacting, you probably say no now more than anything, right?
DAVID ROBINSON: Yeah, I think my knee-jerk reaction now is probably more no than anything else.
DAVID ROBINSON: Yeah, if there's any doubt, I usually have to say no. And that's, you're right. There's lots of great opportunities out there. There's always a lot of great people. I mean I do a lot of ministry, and all the ministries are great.
But I don't have time for all of them. I can't go do everything. And I can't go do so and so's bar mitzvah. I can't go do so and so's re-enlistment. I wish I had time to do all that stuff. I can't. So my initial response is generally no.
I mean, especially at this stage of my life, being a dad and being a husband, I just don't have time to do all of that stuff. So you have to learn how to say no. And you have to learn when to say yes.
-David, I think that some of the stuff you're saying here might seem to you or to other people as common sense. If somebody's watching this, they might say, well that seems common sense.
But yet it's not common. We are a culture that's reacting. We're a culture that, at Thanksgiving, we're sitting there just responding to Facebook the entire time, kids sitting on the couch not talking to each other because they're Facebooking. You have people that are just reacting through their life.
And I think it's important that we take a proactive stand here. And I appreciate you being a guy who's been proactive about your views towards education, proactive about what the impact you're making in the community. And again, I just want to tell you thank you for taking the time to teach us a little bit about being proactive.
DAVID ROBINSON: Oh no, that's my pleasure.
-Thank you, sir.
DAVID ROBINSON: Thanks.
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