In this next transcript, Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) discusses with David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion & co-founder of $250 million Admiral Capital Group) family leadership principles on Thrive15.com, one of the best customer service training programs!
Clay Clark: My name is Clay Clark and I'm the COO of Thrive15.com and today I am joined by the NBA hall of famer, and all star dad, all star husband and a guy who's been super successful off the court, David Robinson. He's going to be teaching us about a difficult subject that a lot of us struggle with, "How to be the parent that our family needs." It's unbelievable. He's going to be teaching us specifically how, throughout his fourteen year NBA career and now his success as a business owner and entrepreneur off the court, how he's been able to be the leader that his family needs.
David Robinson, how are you doing, sir?
David Robinson: Great, Clay, thank you.
Clay Clark: Awesome. Well, hey, we're here talking about how to be the leader your family needs.
David Robinson: Hmm.
Clay Clark: Now I'm going to start you off with a notable quotable but you said it so if it sounds familiar, here we go.
David Robinson: Okay.
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Clay Clark: All right, so you once said, "As great as the excitement of winning is, it pales in comparison to the joy of fatherhood. If you experience success as a father, your legacy will not only be remembered, but it will multiply and reach far beyond your hopes and dreams."
David Robinson: Wow, I said that?
Clay Clark: Yeah. That's one of the, you know, according to Google, and Google can be wrong. Well, so just how important is it for you to be a father and husband? How important is it in America and across the world, is the responsibility of being a husband and father?
David Robinson: I think you know, the family institution is the most basic foundational institution we have in society, and so I think that it is critical that we understand the role that we play as fathers, not just in our own home, but as an example that we set to our neighbors, as an encouragement to those who desire to be married and who desire to raise a family and as an impact to our communities. It's critical for us to understand how important that role is.
Clay Clark: What I hear, as I researched you and as I'm around you, it appears that you put a lot of energy into being a father. In business, I think that we can be guilty, especially when you play in the NBA for fourteen seasons, I think we can be guilty after you come back after a long road trip and you don't have a lot of energy to be a dad, or as a business guy, you're working 60 hours a week, and then you ... How have you been able to find the energy to be an enthusiastic father? It seems like you are a real champion for your kids. Like you're excited for them.
David Robinson: Well you know, I think it's funny because it's something we have to learn. You know, you have to want to do it. I've always thought that's what I want to do. I was travelling all the time, I was playing basketball, gone eight months out of the year pretty much, and my wife was doing all the work. But then when I retired and I got home, and my sons would say, "Dad, let's go play basketball," and I'd think, "It's like 93 degrees outside. Dude, are you sure you want to go play now? I don't really want to go play." So I realized that I really wasn't as good at it as I thought it was. It took time for me to understand it and adapt myself. I was pretty selfish. I had my career. I had ... everything revolved around me, but then now, all of a sudden, I had to be the servant, instead of the one served. So, you know, it's a challenge. It's a challenge for all of us, I think, and we have to just take the time and understand, "Hey this role is important, man. These kids need us. Our wives need us. They need us to be there. They need us to be present, and yes, I have a full day. I have other things. But when I come home, I need to be present."
Clay Clark: David, NFL coach, Tony Dungy, a Superbowl Champion Coach, awesome, awesome dad as well. But he said, "There's no substitute for a full time dad. Dads who are fully engaged with their kids overwhelmingly tend to produce children who believe in themselves and live full lives."
David Robinson: Wow.
Clay Clark: And I say you judge a tree by the fruit it produces, and you have three, three kids. Two of them are out of the house, right?
David Robinson: We're still pushing the other one out. He's about a year away. But yeah, you know, I think that's very, very true. You know, I mean, it's critical, you know, when you look at these boys. You look at their confidence level, and the difference between when I was not home and when I was home. It's huge. I see it in my boys. You know, my oldest son had all the talent in the world, and I wasn't there enough to encourage him. So ultimately in sports, he stopped competing. But my two younger boys, I was there. I went to all the games. I encouraged them. Now I see, you know, one of them is in college playing sports and the next one wants to be in college playing sports and he's working very hard. He's always, "Dad, I want you to come to my workout. Dad, I want you to come to my practice," and I see his confidence level growing.
Clay Clark: As a dad, who admittedly you were gone for a long time ...
David Robinson: Yes.
Clay Clark: With your oldest ...
David Robinson: Yes.
Clay Clark: Son, have you sort of tried to bridge that gap now, where you're more involved and try to do those things?
David Robinson: Oh absolutely. Yeah. My oldest son is a phenomenal young man and for me now, it's so much fun for me to reach out to him and to be able to spend time with him. You know, now he's off in college. So when he comes home, we get to build our relationship, and even more as friends now, and less so as you know, daddy always telling him what to do now. It's you know, I listen to him. He has a lot of great ideas. He's a very intelligent young man and it's a different type of relationship now, but I'm trying to make the most of the relationship that we have now.