David Robinson was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His NBA career spanned fourteen seasons. During that outstanding career he averaged 21.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He once scored 71 points in a single game in 1994, one of only five players to ever record more than 70 points in a single game. He was a 10 time NBA All-Star, a member of the 1992 Gold medal Olympic basketball team, and twice an NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs. Robinson retired from the NBA after the 2002-03 season, but not from life, as his greatest work was still to come. In 2001, he started the Carver Academy in San Antonio, a private school to provide opportunities for inner city kids. Robinson put up $10 million of his own money to get the school started and the school has flourished, giving many children the chance to have an education that otherwise would have been impossible for them. He spends the vast majority of his time dedicated to the success of the school. Having been asked if it was tempting to just kick back after retirement, Robinson said, “This is what my calling is, I mean, what’s your goal in life? Just to enjoy money? Is that fulfilling? If I do less than this, I’ve taken all those gifts I’ve been given and buried them under a rug. I want my own kids and the kids at Carver to understand about passion, that there is a calling in life and that you have to find it (McCallum, p.205, 206).” Jack McCallum said, “Hanging around Carver with Robinson makes a man ponder, if only for a moment, what he’s done with his life, whether he’s made a mark(emphasis mine)(McCallum, p. 208).”
As I work with business owners, one of the things I have noticed is that a great many of them want to make and leave a mark. They have goals and aspirations that go beyond just attaining wealth. Their goals include giving back to their community and the causes they believe in. This is a great motivating factor in building the value of their companies to transition to the next phase of their life.
As all of us strive each day to achieve success in our careers and businesses, the main question to be asking is, Am I Making a Mark?
*McCallum, Jack, (2012), Dream Team