The next article features a Thrive15.com transcript, Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) stresses the importance of ongoing learning and customer service training with David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion & co-founder of $250 million Admiral Capital Group).
Clay Clark: On Thrive, one of the things we really believe in - all the Thrive mentors, all the millionaires, all the success stories, all the people who are Thrive mentors are really firm believers in the importance of ongoing education. How important is a mentorship and ongoing education, like we had a practical train that Thrive provides, things like that. How important is ongoing education for somebody?
David Robinson: Ongoing education is critical. Everyone needs to get better all the time. It's the sports cliche your hear all the time, "I'm doing okay, there's a lot of areas I can improve." Well, it's really true in every circumstance we can improve and we should improve. We don't forget what our strengths are. Yes, we stick to our strengths. If I'm a really good rebounder and I'm a really good shot-blocker, I need to do those things very well. I need to stay focused on those things. But that does not mean I can not improve in my shot and my free-throw shooting and my other areas of the game. And the better that I am, the more value I add to the team and consequently the more personal rewards you're going to get. So in a business it works the same way. You may have a certain value to your business today but if you can add skills to that value then you become a more indispensable person.
Clay Clark: Can you think of something that you learned while heading up Carver or something that you have learned as it relates to the Venture Capital fund where you learned something new and you wrote it down and you kind of rushed back to the office or to the school and said, "I can not wait to apply that..." or, "...to implement that."
David Robinson: Absolutely. I can think of a thousand things at Carver because it was a new experience for me, I'd not started a school, I'd not done a non-profit before. So I was learning at a break-neck pace. I got excited every year because I would come back to my head of school and I would say, "This is what I want to teach these kids this year. This concept." I remember one year it was about hope, I wanted the kids to understand hope and the nature of hope because that's what draws us forward. We have a hope, it is such a powerful things in our lives and I wanted these kids to have hope. So we designed programs around that to draw the kids forward into their lives. I always get these little inspirations. When I learn something I do rush back to put it into place.
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Clay Clark: This is a thing. I want to hammer this, because I know there's somebody watching this who has to hear this. Every single day, literally every day, even if I don't want to I make myself listen to a self-help audio or I read a case study. I take fifteen minutes every day, I have to do it. Because sometimes it's a Saturday morning and I don't want to do it but I get up and I'll take out a case study, I read these Harvard business reviews, and I'll read it and I don't want to read it. I'm reading it, I seriously don't want to, it's usually before the kids wake up it's 6 in the morning, and then I go, "That's it." And all of a sudden I find this new idea and I rush back to the office and we implement it and it works. What is your method for getting new ideas? Do you travel around and look at other schools? Do you read a lot? Do you just sit by the pond and marinate and ponder? What do you do?
David Robinson: I don't think it's overly productive to sit around and marinate and ponder. If you keep looking in the same box I don't think you're going to find a bunch of new things. I think really the key is that you get out, you see your competition, see who's out there, see what the possibilities are. Sometimes your ideas are really limited by your experience. When we were building a private school, I wasn't as open to the idea of a charter school until I got out and I started visiting charter schools, then I saw a whole different picture. And how could we accomplish what we wanted to accomplish within the context of this picture? And that changed entire what we were