What Virginia Small Business Owners Can Learn from Former NBA Coach/Executive Kevin Eastman

The featured speaker at this Monday’s Henrico Business Leaders Breakfast was Kevin Eastman.  At the time of his retirement last June, Kevin was serving as VP of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Clippers, following 35+ years of coaching at the NBA and collegiate levels.  Richmond sports fans will surely recall Kevin’s days as a team captain for the University of Richmond Spiders  basketball team in the mid-1970s.  He’s know writing a book and is frequently speaks to professional sports organizations and Fortune 500 companies on topics such as leadership, teamwork, and, much like his presentation to HBL, observations on how the best become the best in their field.

While many of his anecdotes were based on personal interactions with NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, Kevin’s 25-minute presentation was filled with interesting observations and pragmatic tips relevant to any small business owner or entrepreneur.  Here are a few of the memorable takeaways from Kevin’s presentation (and by the way, for details about having Kevin speak to your company or organization, visit www.kevineastmanspeaking.com):

  1.  Three key attributes for success in sports, business, and life:  (i) big eyes (OBSERVE and LEARN), (ii) big ears (LISTEN and LEARN), and (iii) small mouth.  This reminds me of the old adage that says the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth is so we could listen twice as much as we talk.
  2. Mistakes are inevitable, but if you are going to make mistakes, make NEW ones (i.e., learn from mistakes so you don;t repeat them).
  3. Preparation = Be there before you get there (i.e., set goals, plan to reach those goals, and visualize yourself doing what you need to do to achieve those goals).
  4. Networking is just a number, relationship building is the key to success.
  5. There is a big difference between “know it alls” an “learn it alls”.  Guess which one you should strive to be?

Parting thought was a quote borrowed from Oprah, “Magic happens when your knowledge matches your passion (and vice versa).”  Take action on the things that whisper to you!

As if that wasn’t enough, I won the monthly door prize drawing (free lunch at Hurley’s Tavern in Innsbrook).  Great way to start the week…thanks HBL!


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