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Concept of Excellence

The next article features The Admiral David Robinson and Clay Clark (US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year) on a Thrive15.com(one of the best business schools in Florida) training that discusses the concept of 'excellence.'

Clay Clark:                  My name is Clay Clark. I'm the CEO of Thrive15.com, and today I am joined with the NBA Hall of Fame, living legend, two-time gold medal winning and two-time NBA championship winner, David Robinson, and he's going to be teaching us today a little bit about the concept of excellence.

                                    Now, if you get a chance to Google search David Robinson, you will quickly find that he has been as successful off the court as he was on the court. You see, this guy has lived an entire life with this pursuit of excellence, this idea of doing more than he's supposed to do. Although he's a human that makes mistakes, he's aimed high, and he has lived a life of excellence. So who better than to teach you and I, about the concept of living at our peak and living in a spirit of excellence, than David Robinson?

Clay Clark:                  Dave Robinson, how are you, sir?

David Robinson:      Clay. Good to see you today.

Clay Clark:                  Hey, thank you so much. We're here to talk about excellence as it relates to branding. I know it seems kind of like a weird topic, but you stand for something. I stand for something.

David Robinson:      MmHmm.

Clay Clark:                  Whether we want to or not, when people hear the name David Robinson, they hear something-

David Robinson:      Right.

Clay Clark:                  They immediately get either a visual or an attitude or a perspective that comes to their mind.

David Robinson:      Absolutely.

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Clay Clark:                  In all of us, this is true. Some of us are known nationally. Some of us are know locally. Some of us are known within our neighborhood, but we all stand for something. We're talking about how to stand for excellence--

David Robinson:      Mmm.

Clay Clark:                  -and David, the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, famously said, "We don't get a chance to do that many things,-

David Robinson:      MmHmm.

Clay Clark:                  -and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life." In your mind, why is it so important to be excellent?

David Robinson:      Because it inspires people. It draws people to you. It gives you credibility. It expands your influence and your community. There's a lot of reasons to be excellent. The problem is that it's not that easy to be excellent, and it's not that common to be excellent. Certainly the benefits will outweigh any of the costs of being excellent.

Clay Clark:                  What about an entrepreneur watching this and I say, "I am doing something, and I'm not excellent at it, and I want to do something else I'm not really excellent at, and I kind of want to do something else." We look around and we go, "Wow, I'm pretty below average in all these areas." Would you encourage me then to focus on one area where I could be excellent? Is it important just to choose maybe a few things that you can focus on?

David Robinson:      Absolutely. Being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none is, I think, a negative-

Clay Clark:                  Okay.

David Robinson:      -because if you can do a lot of things-

Clay Clark:                  Yeah.

David Robinson:      -then you should be able to do one or two things very, very well.

Clay Clark:                  Mmm.

David Robinson:      If you're naturally gifted, being a jack-of-all-trades means you're naturally gifted at some things, but that you just haven't committed yourself to working towards those things. I would always encourage people to focus. Find our what you're really good at and find out what you like, what you think you have your most potential in, because there's always signs that point towards one thing over another, but you can't multi-task. Everybody talks about that. I don't think that that's a real thing.

                                    We're all gifted in certain areas, and I know almost no one who's gifted in every area. It's best for you to find those one or two areas where you can be excellent, where you can be the best, and zone in and go ahead and work on those.

Clay Clark:                  Just to make sure the people watching this are understanding, a lot of times we hear about Steve Jobs and we say, "He started Apple, and he ran Pixar." We say and, and, and-

David Robinson:      Right.

Clay Clark:                  -and we don't realize that he ran Apple for a long amount of time. We're talking fifteen, twenty years he's focused in one area-

David Robinson:      MmHmm.

Clay Clark:                  -and then he went into the next venture for years-

David Robinson:      MmHmm.

Clay Clark:                  -so when we look at your career, when you go on Forbes and you look at your bio it says David Robinson, gold medal winner, Hall of Fame basketball player and it lists all that and then it says you started a school, and then it says now you're doing an equity fund, and it's easy to go, "See, he's doing everything."

David Robinson:      Each venture takes years.

Clay Clark:                  Years.

David Robinson:      Each venture takes a certain level of commitment to be excellent. I don't know who said it, but I always think about, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing in an excellent way. Right?

Clay Clark:                  Mmm.

David Robinson:      For me, if I was going to play basketball, my goal was to be the very best basketball player. So I committed time, energy, focus, towards being the very best basketball player. When I opened the school, I said I want to open THE best school. We got the right teams together. We spent the time in planning and putting it together, and bringing in the right community partners to be excellent.

                                    Every venture, as I started my private equity fund, my partner came from Goldman Sachs. That's the Gold standard in a private equity in capital. I said, "Let's be excellent. Let's put together a team that is going to do an outstanding job." I know what my talents are. I bring my talents to the table in each equation, but excellence is my goal in each area.

                                   

 

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