In this transcript, David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion & co-founder of $250 million Admiral Capital Group) discusses with Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) customer service training and team building on Thrive15.com!
Clay Clark: This is a final question when I ask you about this. It relates to Dennis Rodman because in my mind, he is his own culture. He has his own approach towards life.
David Robinson: He should start a business.
Clay Clark: He has his own culture, I mean, the Rodmans. He probably could have like some Harley rallies called the Rodmans. They could get to ... He's his own culture. If you go into any city, Tulsa is a predominantly ... It's almost like 2 cities. You have an African American Tulsa, then you have a Caucasian Tulsa. It's divided.
David Robinson: Then he said he's like that, absolutely.
Clay Clark: There you go. Then you go in and you see places like New York, I go to New York fairly often. We go to New York all different cultures.
David Robinson: Absolutely.
Clay Clark: In San Antonio, as we get closer to downtown, there's all different cultures. When you hire somebody to work at Carver, there's a good chance that somebody might be a Christian, somebody might be a practicing Jew, somebody might be ... All different religions. All different cultures, religions, different family values. How do you build a team when there's all these different religious views, all different culture? How do you do that?
David Robinson: That's a great question. How do you govern a society that has a bunch of different people in it the same way the United States does? You make laws according to what is ... Not according to a specific religion, but you make laws according to what's best for society. If something that you're doing is destroying your society, then you make a law against it. It doesn't have to be religion specific. It has to do with the health of your society and the same thing with your company. How do I decide who I'm going to bring in? It's certainly better, all things being equal, having a mix of people and having a variety of cultures to come in as long as you have a culture, as long as you have the field painted on there, you have structure. It's great to have all of these different people giving you input.
Clay Clark: If you're in favor of having a balanced budget, let's just say you're one of those crazy Americans who believes that the government should have a balanced budget.
David Robinson: Yeah, crazy thought.
Clay Clark: Let's say that I'm one of these people who thinks that we should just infinitely print money. We now have a political disagreement.
David Robinson: Yeah, we definitely disagree.
Thrive15.com provides customer service training from mentors like David Robinson and Lee Cockerell, the man who managed 43,000 employees at Walt Disney World Resort!
Clay Clark: Outside of work, we talked, we're grilling, then I said, "We should print more money, Dave." You said, "We should have balanced." How do you bridge those political differences and those religious differences? Do you just say, "Hey, we don't even discuss that here. We're here just ... We're talking about the culture as it relates to Carver, as it relates to the Admiral fund. We're not here to talk about your political views and your religious views." How do you deal with those obvious glaring differences and put it into a culture that works?
David Robinson: I don't think you ignore those things. I think you definitely talk about those things. That's what brings growth. That's what makes our country so special is that we are a mix of all of these different cultures, all of these different people. People should be able to express their thoughts whether it's for something or against something. You should be able to express those things.
Now, how it impacts your work is a whole another story. Now, if you're expressing your thoughts, tears down the culture of the company or the the country or the organization, then that should not be acceptable. I never feel suppressing thought is a good thing. Now, I feel all of our efforts need to go towards making our company successful, our organization successful, our culture successful. I think we need to understand this not only in our business, but in our school systems. We need to have a mix of cultures. You cannot have separate school systems and think that it's not going to impact your kids at some point.
Clay Clark: There's somebody watching us right now who has a business where they, for whatever reason, decided to be like all white, all black. You're saying, "Hey, we can work with different cultures, religions, races, political-
David Robinson: All white, all black is not culture. That's not a culture.
Clay Clark: That's not a culture. You can't be like an all black.
David Robinson: That's not a culture. Yeah, that's not a culture. You have to have specific ideas about how you want your company run. Then, you build the culture. Then, people either fit in to the culture or not. Saying we want to exclude all Asians, that's not a culture.
Clay Clark: I see this happen to businesses, though.
David Robinson: That's racism, that's not culture.
Clay Clark: Okay.
David Robinson: Building a culture that says I want affluent people or I want ... We cater to affluent people, so we need to have people who understand the affluent lifestyle. We need to have people who ... I'm building a culture of, "Hey, we cater to these people, and we need to find people who are sensitive to this." Okay, that's fine. That's not racist. But to say, "I want to build a business with all blacks. I just don't want to have any white people working me," that's not culture, that's racism.
Clay Clark: Dave, I appreciate you. I love the black and white. I just love the ... I don't think you acknowledge the existence of the color gray. I think you're black and white. I love that. I appreciate your clarity as it relates to building a team here. Thank you so much for your time.
David Robinson: My pleasure. Thanks. Thanks, Clay.