Trent Clark – How I Became a Dream Maker (#276)

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Trent Clark is a three-time MLB World Series Coach and serial entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder of Transitions LLC and the Founder and CEO of Leadershipity. He is also the Founder and CEO of MPower Athletes, Inc. Trent is dedicated to empowering others to achieve their goals, peak performance, and dreams, having spent his whole life among the top 1% producers in sports and business.

Trent served over 12 seasons in Major League Baseball – including three trips to the World Series – working with the Detroit Tigers, two-time American League Champion Cleveland Indians, and World Champion Los Angeles Angels. He has worked on staff with notable figures like Mark Shapiro, Nick Saban, Tom Izzo, Mark Dantonio, John Hart, Paul DePodesta, Sparky Anderson, Mike Hargrove, Mike Scioscia, Don Wakamatsu, Jerry Jenkins, Joe Maddon, Bud Black, and others.

Trent Clark has been a member of the Entrepreneur Organization (EO) for seven years, serving on the EO Global Board Mentorship Sub-Committee and as an EO Mentorship Facilitator worldwide. Trent has been a professional speaker for over 25 years, giving motivation and valuable knowledge transfer from sports courses to practical business applications.

The Audit of Excellence

The How’d It Happen Moment for Trent dates back to when he was 13 years old. It was career week at school, and each student had to determine what they wanted to be at 30. The passion for sports ran through Trent’s family, from his father being a basketball player to all of his brothers playing sports in college. At 13 years of age, Trent set the goal to be a Major League Baseball player. That was his first experience of dreaming/vision work, goal setting, and strategy planning.

All the people around him didn’t believe in his dream and frequently told him that he was “not enough.” Most people let that prevent them from achieving their dreams, but Trent persevered, and also, thanks to his mentors, he was able to overcome his limiting beliefs. That led him to spend 12+ years in professional baseball, coaching the best in the world and teaching the most prestigious athletes in the fiercest competition of their lives battling for their dreams, HOW they “had what it takes” and that “they were enough.”

And now here’s Trent Clark.

Full transcript below

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Podcast with Trent Clark. How I Became a Dreamer.

trent, people, mike, coach, kid, organization, world, run, played, adaptability, adapt, excellence, baseball, business, listen, role, player, team, big, trisha
Trent Clark, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta 00:07
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast powered by WINJECT Studios. I’m happy to have you here today as I am. Every time we do an episode together, and I’m fulfilling my promise to you today with another amazing success story. I’ve got Trent Trent with me, Trent, welcome to the show.

Trent Clark 00:34
Hey, Mike, how are you, buddy? Thanks for having me.

Mike Malatesta 00:36
A long time. No, see? Yeah,

Trent Clark 00:38
I feel like it’s been like God these days since we recorded the show together.

Mike Malatesta 00:42
So Trent and I had an opportunity to record an episode of his podcast, Winners Find a Way, a week or so ago. So it was a tremendous introduction that I’ve forgotten. Justin made it I don’t know who but I was so taken aback by him when I was on his podcast that I invited him on here and you’ll find out why I made such a wise decision as we go along, but let me tell you a little bit about Trent. So Trent is a serial entrepreneur, and a three-time — that’s three-time — major league baseball World Series coach. He’s also the founder of MPower Athletes Incorporated, Courage Coach and Trent has received accolades as both an athlete and a coach. He served over 12 seasons in Major League Baseball, including three trips, as I said before to the World Series, working with the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels. He’s worked on staff with fame personalities, coaches and executives like Mark Shapiro, Nick Saban, Tom Izzo, Sparky Anderson as sort of a blast from the passive Sparky and a bunch of others like an amazing group of people that he has had the opportunity to work with. Trent is also a nationally recognized certified coach and speaker. He’s a seven-year member of the entrepreneur organization he Oh, and has served on their global boards and he operates as a as an EO mentorship facilitator worldwide. As a professional speaker, Trent has served organizations for over 25 years providing motivation and useful knowledge transfer from the lessons of sport to practical business application. You can find out more about Trent at, which is a very interesting name, You can connect with him on LinkedIn, you can email him at . And I advise you to listen to his podcast, Winners Find a Way. So Trent, I start every show with the same simple question and that is how to happen for you.

Trent Clark 03:04
Yeah, so how it happened for me was what I like to call Mike an audit of excellence. I was a young kid I wanted in seventh grade I had this teacher who was probably calling it in the week before spring break, but he wanted Career Week, right? Like what’s life gonna be like when we’re 30 and I was from a sports family. My father, my father was a basketball player, my brother, older brother played was a hockey goalie. My next brother was an all-state, you know, football player, and all of us played sports in college. And I just decided at that time, my sister was just named Miss Michigan teen and I thought, Man, I’m better than all my brothers and sisters. I’m going to play in the Major Leagues. And so man that just really set me on a course of setting some goals and it was kind of my first blush with goal setting. And then something very powerful happened about two years after that, which was I got a Willy Wonka tight invite to the Showcase camp which back then there wasn’t showcases, right. And it was run by a former major leaguer. And, man that was just so important. I just remember just thinking, Man, I got to get that invite. And when I did, it said in the fine print, like if you were named the MVP, you get to sit down with the major league and I thought, Man, I got to do that. Right. Like, I got to know. And so I just put my head down. I trained hard on hitting and running and lifting weights and getting ready and needless to say, opportunity meets preparation right and, and had a great week was named MVP that camp and I got to sit down with the guy right? And, and I got one of the best lessons I ever got Mike in my life, which was when I sat down with him. He asked me hey, what would you like to do Trent? I said, Hey, I want to do what you did want to play in the Major Leagues. And he said alright, senior week and I think you can do it. I was like, Oh, my God you’re supposed to draft and inch and a half, right? I mean, I was just geared up and I said, Man, I That’s so awesome. But then probably just stupid teenage boldness. Right, I asked the next question, which was, man, I gotta ask you with all due respect, everybody else is telling me no. Right? Like, he said, Well, let me ask you turtling who are those people? I said, Well, you know, my mom, my, my freshman coach, my, my, you know, counselor, like, you know, hey, you better have a backup kid, right? Like, you’re, you’re not big enough. You’re not fast enough. You’re not strong enough. And I’m hearing in my own head. Now. I’m telling myself you’re not enough. He said, Hey, I’m going to caution you, Trent, like that you should think really hard, who you get advice from? As you go forward here that you should probably only take advice from people that have done what you want to do. And i Yes, sir, I will do that. And I took that advice. From from that point forward, right. And now, here I go into state championship my sophomore junior senior year in baseball never done before in Michigan, the high school team went to three state championships in a row. And and then I played in the Junior College National Championships in tennis. So five years in a row, I’m playing in these championship level games matches, playing against the top tier talent, and just audit of excellence audit of excellence. Why are they winning? Why are we losing? Why did we win that? It was a consistent challenge in my mind of how can we be excellent every time we go out. And of course, we weren’t all the time. But it was a constant fight for that, which which took me right into the next level of coaching and then coaching in the World Series. How do you repeat how do you become a champion? How do you get your team to do the best things and operate on the highest scale? And that has been my total focus since I was a kid.

Mike Malatesta 06:54
Okay, this Alright, thank you for that. So one of the ticket, the Willy Wonka ticket, how does one get such a thing?

Trent Clark 07:03
Well, you had to be considered one of the best players in aid County. So I think he talked to a number of coaches. And we played on specialty travel teams and things like that I was on. I was selected to one of those teams and had a couple good years and I was rated one of the best freshmen players in the state at that time. So certainly, I would fall into that list by some accolades I’d had.

Mike Malatesta 07:25
Okay. And this may not be a good question, but I’m gonna ask it because I was at. I was down in Sarasota not too long ago, and they’ve got one of those big campuses. They’re like IG something. IMG, IMG, so it’s like, where? I don’t know, I want to say like, reminds me of the Williams movie. Serena and yes, Venus. Right. So it’s, it’s one of these places in Florida, where the top athletes are recruited, I guess to go because they’re on a pro trajectory. Maybe you probably know a lot more about it than I do. But I was wondering how a kid from Michigan can compete for the pros. It’s bet particularly in baseball, I guess. And maybe tennis as well, your two sports, you know, against? See, you know, that kind of those kinds of organizations or even just here, the South Trent just,

Trent Clark 08:26
yeah, I mean, it’s a very interesting dynamic, right? Like, it’s always said, like, hey, all the athletes are really coming from the south. And, you know, when I look at like baseball, I mean, I know tons of Michigan baseball players that are household names now, like Derek Jeter. Right? And there’s just, there’s just tons of them, that I if I went through the major, major leagues that are Michigan kids, and it’s not really seen as a baseball hotbed, right. You mean, there are probably a lot more Florida and California kids for sure. But, um, it still produces a lot of talent and in tennis, you know, when I was a kid coming up, I was playing junior tennis against Malbaie, Washington, Aaron, Christine, Todd Martin. I mean, these guys were all top 20 in the world, at some point in their careers. And I just knew they’re a lot better than me and 17 than I was, but it was incredible. And I think indoor tennis had a big factor on that, because you could train indoors. So instruction was good. And I think that some of the Midwest values Mike, I think really plays out in sport to where we are grounded in faith and family and hard work. And we really have been taught like the consequences of hard work are good things, right. And the consequences of lack of work aren’t great. And we and we saw that many times. So I think the value of of it was significant. I remember dusty Baker, talking about, you know, longtime major league baseball manager. He goes, You know, these Michigan kids like, they just got to kind of figure it out like They’re solid. And it was the fact of how do you how do you rate when we looked at these major league players? How do you compete against the top people at the top level? And it really became this this dynamic of what we were recording and coaching on and started with the Cleveland Indians on their real auditor? Excellent. They were just on it. And they were really good at it. Number one minor league team and they were like, how good are you at taking care of yourself? How good are you at self discipline? How do you know? How confident are you? What is your competitiveness level? How are you doing on taking care of your fitness? How are you on eating right? And how are you on integrity when no one’s watching? And all these things that I’m like, and I tell my kids like, hey, we didn’t matter how fast or how hard you could hit a ball. Because everyone at that level could do that. It was the little things that projected you to that next level coachability, one of those big Eddie’s right. And leadership, it is coachability? Because do you have adaptability? Do you have integrity and humility? I mean, are you doing all these things that we want in our leaders, and we want in our best, but they’re not easy to find? And what we find is, hey, I got two of those. But the but the other two are kind of hurting me. Because I don’t eat humble pie. I’m great. Just ask me. Right? And you’re like, oh, that arrogance may become a problem for someone. Right? Yeah, sure. It rears its head all the time.

Mike Malatesta 11:31
I was thinking about that before you brought it up. Because I was I’m still trying to wrap my head around how a kid, you know, gets this audit of excellence thing in their mind, like you were describing. And then, because I was thinking so many, at that age, who are excelling, might be feeling like, what? I’m already excellent. Why would I have to audit my excellence? You know? Yeah. How did you stay away from that?

Trent Clark 11:59
Well, because I wasn’t the biggest and the best, right? Like, that’s I had to fight for it all the time. I’m five, six 160 pounds in high school. Right, I played at my top level, like 178. And I was still five, six. So

Mike Malatesta 12:15
figure out a way how to get taller. Yeah,

Trent Clark 12:17
I couldn’t figure out a way to get taller. So I got I learned how to get faster, I learned how to get stronger. I learned every single technique of an edge, I could get every single thing that counted, you know, studying the game, shaving my face, right? Because your kids don’t realize the little things as a scout walks in. And you see these 17 year olds with a full grown beard. They’re like, Oh, that kid’s as mature as he’s ever going to get this is probably as physically good as he’ll ever get Now, can we just mentally train him up? And if he doesn’t hit that bar, or doesn’t run that fast? They’re like writing them off at 17. So like, kids don’t think about like, well, I want to look like I’m gonna start with my, with my beard. And I’m like, no, no, no, you don’t want to look like a baby face for scouts, because they want to think you still have potential to grow and develop. And so it’s little things that keep going in because when we audit excellence, everyone knows the big thing, right? Like, oh, hey, are you good at this? In business? If you’re auditing excellence? Are you good at selling? Oh, yeah, we’re good at selling. I mean, we’re not good at managing our expenses. But man, we could sell all crazy, you know, all sudden, you’re like, Oh, we do 240 million in sales. And listen, we only got 245 and expenses, like, uh, yeah, so So you’re in the red 5 million? Is that? Is that? Is that? Only 5 million? Yeah, only 5 million, right? Like, hey, the government I bailed us out. So like, you know, like, it’s, it’s a, it’s a bad deal, right, we got to consider all and I always like to look at these audits, as like, as like a swimming pool. And when you look at you take anything, a business, you take anything, and you look at like, hey, each, each part of this pool is a swim lane. And we need a leader in each lane to you know, like, let’s say a business being run marketing, run HR, run sales and run operations and fulfillment. And you know, we just keep going down the line of the different operations, right? And the reality is, is that every one of them has to be excellent. They have to be managing their lane at the highest level, high productivity efficiency because what happens is, what if the HR Lane just decides okay, we’re not doing a very good job, we’re not running very well and all sudden, the the lanes getting tainted, right? It’s not carrying forward very well. So it’s, it’s starting to grow some algae and started turning yellow and green and like, Okay, well, and pool like, it doesn’t just limit itself to that lane before you know it. The two lanes next to it are all yellow, and they’re starting to turn green too. And if we just let it go, Listen, the whole pools affected in days, right? We just can’t let it go. And also like, well, we run really well in seven lanes. Well, listen, you’ve got the pools just filled with algae now. You can’t stop it, and you got to fix it. You got to repair it. And if you don’t get that, right, it’s gonna affect everybody else. And so that’s what we learn in the audit of excellence is that it takes everybody in, and it takes everybody contributing. I love Bill Belichick quote about great teams. Right? He says, I know we have a great team, when everyone knows what their job is to, and they’re doing it to it. Yeah. So I come into organizations all the time to call me they call me because they have challenges, right? And that’s great. That’s what I’m called. That’s awesome. But the first thing is, I would bet 90% of the time I come into a company. Most people don’t know their role. They don’t know their job. And so if they don’t know it, we know they’re not doing it. Right. Like, and we got some expectations like, oh, wow, I hope Joe over there is doing this job. I’m just joking. You know what his job is? Well, probably not. But I hope he’s doing it. I mean, hope is not a strategy, right? Yeah. So we run into this, this factor where there’s not visibility, there’s not clarity on what a person’s role and responsibility is. And that’s really what we work at hard at leadership. He’s like, let’s make sure everybody knows their role and responsibility here, how they contribute to the greater good, right to what the mission is of the organization, because everyone plays a role in contributing to to an all star championship level organization. And if people don’t know what it is, then I doubt they’re contributing very well, or it’s not on target. It’s not focused. Yeah, so but if I’ve got people that really know their role and responsibility, and we’re coaching and managing people up on being the best they can be their role and responsibility, and not only meeting the expectation, but exceeding it. In every category, like, you’re gonna have a fabulous organization very quickly, like, it just, it’s, it’s magical. And it seems somewhat simple, right? But I can’t tell you how hard it is to get people moving in all the same direction. It’s difficult.

Mike Malatesta 17:00
There’s a couple of things you said in there that I want to, I want to dig into a little bit the the first was this, this lane thing. So how often? How often do you come into organizations where the people that are in that lane? Think that they shouldn’t be in that lane? Like, you know, it’s sort of like this, I get this. Like, when you ask people if they’re good drivers, right, like nine out of 10 People say I’m a good driver, even though that’s, you know, like, yeah, it’s impossible. Right? Right. So how often do you? Like, obviously, they can’t see the algae grow? No matter what, but how often do you do you find that people and I’ll get into the know, their roles later after this, but you know, that they don’t see themselves as not being the right person? For that lane?

Trent Clark 17:56
Yeah, I would say most people, um, I would think that most people actually deep down, they know it, okay, they know it in their mind that they’re not, but they’re not going to consciously and openly admit that, right, because I’m in this role, I’m trying to do well, and I’m working my veer off, and I will justify, you know, we’d be better. But Mike keeps giving us bad clients. And that’s why, you know, everyone’s got a justification. But, but that’s why I think the roles and responsibilities are really big because, and really easy, you know, really easy is here’s your job description, which every job application that goes out on the on the wire has a here’s your role inside the company. So if I just pick that up, and I said, Hey, this was your job advertisement, three years ago, when you took the Chief Marketing Officer here. And let me just break this down categorically to 10 things. This is what you’ve got to do. You know, you’ve got to own our social media campaign. You got to be budgeting our, you know, marketing campaign, we want ROI Return on X amount of dollars, we want pretty big click and all the things we could measure, right? And if I just sat down and I said, Hey, you know, Trisha, tell me as a chief marketing officer, 10 categories, let’s go down each one. How do you feel you’re doing in leading this category? ABCD right. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves and we’re going to have that moment where we’re just going to look at our department first of all, knowing getting themselves as you’re saying it can be better this is this is absolutely a work elite level, top notch a well we I mean, we could have a lot better click through rate we know we could, we could be getting our campaigns and a lot better audiences. I think we miss our audience 50% of the time where we’re not in the right places. We should be like, we’re being openly honest. Oh, B, C, D, A, B, C, E, failing here. Oh, I’m neglecting that area actually. Right doing anything like, Sure. So you’re gonna tell me you’re doing chances Finish up level work. And I just graded you out at a b minus. Like, my next question is, how could it be an A? Well, if we did this, if we did that if we were doing this, oh, really? That’s interesting. So guess what, we’ve got a marching band and marching orders for the next two quarters, because you just lean out, if we want to be top championship level, and this is all A’s, we got to be doing these things. How do I get my team doing those things? And when they really break it down, nobody gives themselves all A’s. They won’t. Because they can’t, because they can’t justify it. Right? Like if I tried to justify you, Mike, hey, our marketing campaigns are so good. I’d be just lying through my teeth. And you’d be like, huh, Trent, is that true? Because he explained to me about this, this and that. And I’d be like, oh, yeah, those aren’t very good. Like, I gotta own that, right? I gotta take responsibility, like, we can be doing this better. And we got to take ownership in that, and especially if it’s, if it’s my ownership, it’s my role and responsibility inside the organization. Who Who else would I blame? I could blame my team, but I hired him. I’m responsible for him. I’m the one who’s running point who’s managing them? How’s that gonna work?

Mike Malatesta 21:13
I’m so that’s so funny. You said that. And it seems so weird, because you’re a coach, and I’m at, you know, a major league coach. And I’m not one of the things that I would always tell our people when they would push back on that was what, you know, you selected the team, right? Yeah. Well, then you need to win with the team you have. Because if you’re telling me that you can’t win with a team you have and you selected them. What am I supposed to make of that? Yeah.

Trent Clark 21:37
Right. Yeah, I’ve had a lot of these hard discussions with folks, like, you know, in here’s one isn’t, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, as you, Mike, and you’ll appreciate this is that owners pay the freight, you know, they pay the payroll, right. And it is, in their, in their concept. It’s directly out of their pocket, like this is a cost of us doing business and doing well. And so when you pay somebody $100,000, right, let’s just use that as an example. Yeah. And then I say, Hey, here’s your 10 roles and responsibilities. And let’s just say of those 10, you’re going to give yourself a one to 10. They go 986 10 to 10, nine, six, okay, I add this up at 81. So you’re the director of an entire division here, we’re paying you $100,000. And you’re doing 81% of the contribution. So, Mike has paid you, he honored his end of the bargain, by paying you in full and in kind for contributing at 100%. And you gave him 81%, is that correct? Because I’m just wondering if I should go back to Mike and say, Hey, he should pay you 81,000. Or you’re gonna come back and actually contribute at the full value. Like, I’ve never heard anyone say they’ll take less right? No, no, no, no, I want the money. No, no. Good. And Mike wants to contribution. Like, can we agree that we have to do that together? Well, yeah, I guess that’s probably right. That’s right.

Mike Malatesta 23:12
Okay, so now you got me thinking? I’m glad you watch us do that. Because now you have me thinking but how do you think takes a real like to bring somebody in like you and do what you just described? That takes some real? I don’t know if courage is the right word. I don’t know if it’s the right word, you tell me the right word. But to bring some because it sounds to me like you’re getting when you come in to work with a team. You you’re in all the lanes, right? And you are asking questions of the people that are in that lane right now about why the pool is growing algae, right? Yeah. And all the control this but but you’re not working through the CEO or the or the entrepreneur, you’re getting direct access to these people? Yes. Because that’s where the change needs to happen. That’s, that’s unique in my experience.

Trent Clark 24:04
Yeah. But Mike, your appreciate that you love Trisha, let’s just say the CMO who just scored an 81 You love her. She’s great for your culture. She’s she’s in a position that you just want to see her succeed. That’s all you want from her. And there’s some gaps. And so you’re bringing her in a coach that’s going to help her shore up those gaps, because the best in the world have a coach. I wouldn’t Trisha, you want her contribution. And based on her values, based on her ability to lead based on some other things that she has her work, effort, her attitude. You see her as a long term player in your organization. Like why wouldn’t you invest in her because ultimately, it serves the organization and the ROI is in perpetuity as she gets better, right? Like the return is that hey, not only do I come back and learn how to succeed in this role, but now I’ve learned how to succeed in a role to take on those tasks, those roles, responsibilities, and not just meet the minimum, but exceed on every case. Because if you looked at her 10, and you went 11, Trisha 1111, one out of 1011. Again, like, Trisha, you exceed all these things like, how come? I haven’t made you the CEO, because this is who you want. This is this is who I always I always tell the story like, hey, if I run a Starbucks, and we can only be judged on the role we’re in, that’s it. I can’t go. You know what, Mike, you’re my, you’re my vice president of sales, or vice president of operations in Starbucks, let’s just say, and I am a running a store here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, right? And in my district, there are 12 stores. My store is number 11. Right? So I go to the VP director, because you know what, Mike, I think I would be great at your job one day, and I want to be you one day, and this is what I’m going for. And I and I just want to be clear about how come you don’t think they’re considering me for district manager? Because that’s the next step. Uh, hey, Trent, your stores 11 of the 12, we have for the district managers being considered of the top two people in our district, the top two stores, and who’s running those things like pristine, and the two top of the district next door because they would be willing to come over if they had a chance to run a district and get and get advanced in that even though it wouldn’t be in their hometown. So I’m just not competing inside my district. I’m concerned, I’m considering competing against all the other district leaders. So why am I not being considered because I’m 11 of 12. Like, because there’s people running fabulous doors, and they proven they can manage themselves with that responsibility. And now, they’re going to be given more responsibility to run this district. And when they blow this district out of the water, and they are the top district in this region, they’re going to be considered for the regional VP. And then when they are the top region of all the 10 regions in the country. Guess who’s getting the VP? The top red person, right? Yeah, she’s a world beater. This is who we want running the show. Because everywhere she’s gone, she’s made every store better, every district better, every region better. All she does is make things better. Though, you know, we’ve been there as Coach, you’ve coached Little League, you’ve done this, and you get a kid who just gives you all the effort? Who does every little thing you ask, they may not be the fastest, they may not be the best. But you sit there and you go, wow. Alexa, I’ll take 10 more just like her. She’s a world beater. She comes with the right attitude every day. Like, I want 10 More of these little girls on my team, because if I’ve got 10 Alexis, we’re gonna kill teams. I’ll just tell you right now. She’s not the fastest, she’s not the best. I don’t care. Like, I don’t need that. I need someone who can actually do what they’re asked to do.

Mike Malatesta 28:11
You. Okay, so I want to go back to something. But before I do, I got one more question. Or maybe two more questions on this trend. So the investment part. That makes sense to me intellectually, I think it would make sense to most people intellectually like, Hey, we’re going to invest in you to get you up to your tents, right? Because that’s where we think you can be, and that’s where we need you to be in order for our organization to be the best it can be. Right? So how many how often do I feel like, intellectually, that makes sense, but when it’s like uptrends here to talk to me? How many people feel like you’re the company’s investing in them as a result of going through this? As opposed to they’re scared that they’re being held accountable to something?

Trent Clark 28:56
Well, I you know, it’s a great question. I’ve never pulled them how many people showed up scared. I think there’s a lot of deer in the headlights when I show up on site that people are nervous about that. I didn’t know you know, my, one of my favorite words, of Eddie’s is accountability. And it feels like a four letter word now like, like, it’s like, whoa, wait a minute, you’re gonna come and hold me accountable? Yeah, like, don’t, don’t you want to learn like that. And this is my worst scenario. Like, my worst case scenario is someone walks in and goes to the boss and goes, Hey, why are you firing me? I, I didn’t I didn’t know I wasn’t doing well. I’m like, wait, no one told Brian. He’s struggling at this thing. No one told him. He’s not meeting expectations. No one told him what his roles and responsibilities are. No one told him that he’s getting D’s across the board on these. Are we having quarterly reviews or We coaching him up on how he could get A’s. Are we giving goals? Are we setting anything in advance? And man crickets? Yeah. So so so this is what I learned Mike, no one went to university in school to learn leadership, and no one wants to learn coaching. Yet. Everyone, these organizations, any organization needs good leadership, and they need coaching. And I need coachability automate on my numbers, right? Because we want teams of coachable champions, that’s what we want. Because if we have that, we’re going to be going places if we’ve got anybody who can coach it up. And so the question is, is, do we have those things? And I’d say most often, most organizations just don’t have them. We want coachability. And that’s awesome. We should be hiring for it. But what if we have coachability? And no one to coach him? No one talking to him, no one telling them, Hey, how do I get better? How do I how do I improve? How do I make the next level? What’s next for me? What are my opportunities? How do I show you I’m worth it? Here’s the things, right, this is what we’d love to see from you.

Mike Malatesta 31:07
When you were walking through that example, two things came to mind. First of all, yeah, nobody ever talked to him. Everybody just talked to themselves about how horrible of a job that person was doing. Right? So that’s one and two, you said quarterly reviews, and I could just quarterly reviews Who the hell it’s got time for that we got, you know, it’s like, you just sort of abdicate all this responsibility for helping people become the best they can because you don’t actually want to address them. And accountability is a four letter word thing. Yeah, it sort of reminds me like accountability is sort of like bullying today, right? It’s like, if you’re holding me accountable, but you’re some people feel like that’s, you know, You’re being unfair to the person you’re being, you know, you’re telling them no, no, you’re not doing that you’re actually doing them a big favor. Most people take that. Well, if you you know, as long as as long as you present it well. And as long as they’re not the only ones. They don’t feel like they’re the only ones being held accountable. Because I hear that all the time. Like, well, what do you mean? What do you mean, I’m not doing right? Well look at they immediately want to deflect and say, Well, look at Trent. Yeah, he’s lazier than I am. He comes in late. He leaves early. All this. Flexion

Trent Clark 32:20
Yeah. Yeah, feedback is a gift, right? But that’s not again, like accountability. It’s all sudden, I’m in trouble. Your feedback is like, whoa, whoa, whoa, you know, and this is it. This is a challenge with the younger generation, like everyone goes, oh, you know, these, these younger guys, they really want feedback. No, they want. They don’t want that. They want encouragement, and praise. Like, I don’t wanna hear the negative feedback. Like, wait a minute, I grew up well, and maybe part of it’s my world. I mean, baseball, you know, you make $5 million, if you’re successful three out of 10 times, right? Like, it’s crazy. And so I just can’t ever imagine, right that we pay you $10 million, Mike, and you go to the plate, and you strike out against a Randy Johnson or name the top pitcher of the day, right? And then you come back to the dugout after the first day and go, You know what, it’s just too hard out there. I’m not going back. Wait, what? You’re gonna have three more chances, like, you know, you’re going to afford bats this game, this is why you hit number two, or three, because you’re the guy who can get to somebody and make something happen, right? And it just, it just would never enter anybody’s mind. We just continue to adapt. And you don’t that feedback. You and I are close friends, right? And so we sit there and I say, man, you know, you see the fact like, Hey, I’m dropping my back shoulder and dipping my shoulder. And so three weeks go by that I strike out more than I have all season. And I don’t strike out very much. I was I started out twice in my senior year in college. So like, I don’t do that. And so that’s not my game. I gotta put the ball in play, make things happen guy, right. So I strike out all these times. My average is going terrible. I’m not getting on base. And after three weeks, the club comes in and goes, well, Trent, we’re gonna move you down. We’re gonna send you to AAA you got to work this thing out. And you go, Hey, listen, I hope you’re back up here soon. And listen, that back shoulder has been dropping for like three weeks and I just, you know, get get there and work on like, wait, you you notice for three weeks and you’re not telling me like, how are you helping me good, buddy. Like, now you’re telling me oh, I didn’t want to make you feel bad. Well, you think when I was hitting 105 I was feeling good. Like, you’re not feeling good. Anyway, like, I fix this. And I need help. And we’re just not asking our trusted friends for help. And taking that as just that. It’s it’s help and guidance. And we all need it. Right? We all need it. We can’t. We can’t hold up a mirror to ourselves all day. We’re not We’re not great at self assessment. We need some people on the outside to help us kind of guide through that.

Mike Malatesta 35:04
And I would say I would add to that, what do you think? Like we never assess ourselves as honestly as someone else. Well,

Trent Clark 35:09
yeah, I love that. I love the famous quote that, you know, we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intention tensions. Yeah, like, oh, man, I, I intend to go up there and take three good swings. And man, look at look at Malatesta his swings looking like crap, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, I’m hitting 105. And I’m like, Yeah, but I intend to really go up there and hit line drives like No, no, you’re not actually doing it. I ran into this with an executive that I was coaching, and fabulous leader, good leader, bad on time. And so hard worker, not a particular morning person, he had the standing meeting at 745, with his team, some 45, every Friday, and his team would come in and bring like, you know, their laptops and some reading material and anything they do. So if so, the meeting kicked off at 755. They didn’t waste 10 minutes, like they were on, right. But they’re all there, ready to go at 740 Because many times he was there at 745. He has a really critical employee that’s in the sales department, who’s really challenged with time. And he’s he’s missed a couple RFP dates, deadlines. So they didn’t even get chances to offer in the business because he missed deadlines. And so he fired him for his inability to manage time. And everyone went a wait a minute, like his word like, ah, hey, my intent is to be there every time like, no, no, no, we all know that. But like, you’re not good at it. Like it was, it was a he took a step back for like six months as a leader like, and, you know, and he didn’t understand it, like until we had to break it down. Like, hey, listen, they’re looking at you, like, do as I say, not as I do, right? Like, you’re a horrible model of this, and you’re gonna let him go for anything. But he said this, and like, wow, you know, does that mean you should

Mike Malatesta 37:14
not see that? How did he not see that?

Trent Clark 37:17
Because our intentions, man, you know, like, we

Mike Malatesta 37:19
can talk ourselves into

Trent Clark 37:20
like, oh, and we justify it, right? Like, yeah, ah, you know, my wife’s out of town, I had to drop the kids off. You know, I, I thought they started school at eight. It turns out, they started a 20 I couldn’t get them out of the car till 740. And I’m nine minutes from the office. And she’s man, like, I you know, my wife was gonna be gone this Friday. And you know, that like, okay, you know, like, but then it’s, yeah, the racquetball game ran over. And then there’s a wreck on i Five and like, it’s always something. And it’s, there’s not an intent in the world not to be there at 745. But it happens two times out of the month, which is half right. But you’re only doing for Friday’s brother, like it’s half, like, and so 50% of time, it’s not a great ratio. So now you’re gonna sit there and say, Hey, this guy missing RP twice out of 6050? I don’t know. So it’s just tough. I mean, I think it’s tough, you know, understanding it getting clarity. It’s not easy. Yeah. And you know, if it, would everybody be doing it, right?

Mike Malatesta 38:28
If that’s what they say, yeah. I look at Yeah, I’m an over easy person, I look at everything as being easy. Although I know, I obviously it’s not once you get into it, everything is hard, really, but, but conceptually, it’s easy. And if you approach it as if it’s easy, you’re going to make it easy. You approach it as if it’s complex, you are likely to make it complex, at least that’s been my personal experience. It’s good. You mentioned roles, and the lack of really clarity when it comes to a lot of roles. So you’ve been in a lot of different companies. What Why would that be? What’s, what is the reason why there wouldn’t be clarity about that, as you said, you know, the, the job description has been there. But usually, they got everything in the kitchen sink in those job descriptions, right. So it’s like, you know, sometimes it feels like you need two sentences that say what your job really is in order for you to know your role. But what’s been your experience about why that happened? So so?

Trent Clark 39:28
Well, I think there’s a couple things I think one is, we aren’t trained very well, we aren’t given that right from the beginning. Let’s break that out of that big job description. And break down here are the eight real responsible things that you that you own, that you are responsible for you run point and you will answer to at any given time, even if you’re not doing it, right. Even if I’ve assigned Mike and his team to do it. I am still ultimately responsible. I can delegate that to to you who can do it better than me by The way, which is why I hired you on my team in the first place, right? Because you’re better than I am at it. And I am not strong here and we need to get stronger. So a good leader is going to do that, too, is we don’t understand chain of command. I mean, can you imagine, like, a ballclub that someone who’s cleaning the bathrooms at the stadium is out of toilet paper? So they call the president of the Los Angeles Dodgers to say, hey, where do you think I’d get more toilet paper? Like there’s a chain of command issue there? No, like, why would you call that person you have a direct boss, and a direct boss is an authority. Another four letter word now, big IDI, right. But you have to be in authority, you’re in a position of management now, own your authority. That doesn’t mean you hold your authority over people just understand that it is your role, to where is your authority, my authority is over these eight things. My authority is over this team, my authority is over these things, and I am responsible for them. That is what it means to be the authority in the matter. Now, am I the authority over here in sales? Like, I’m not today? I’m not the authority of that. Like, um, you know, Rihanna is doing that. She’s great. Like, like, if you and so when there’s a sales issue, I’m like, I don’t know if you talked to Rihanna, because she’s the best. And she’s the authority, what? I, I don’t offer what you need. And so understanding that, I think so that chain of command is an issue. But if we’re not trained up in systems, and that’s why you talk about a quarterly, like, I’m not, I’m not giving quarterly assessments of everyone in my organization, like, I have a chain of command and you, Mike are responsible for your eight members on your team, you’re doing those eight quarterly is because you’re the one who knows them in a million, you’re the one who has to coach them up. And you have a quarterly with your boss, who’s your, you know, is your authority. And and when you have a challenge, you don’t call me first, you call your direct boss that you report to you say, Hey, listen, I’m having a challenge with this client with this person. You know, this is what I’ve done. So far. This is what I think is a potential solution, you know, all these things. But, you know, I just think that organizations just, we’ve kind of lost this sense of, of time, urgency, of timelines. And I’ll tell you right now, I mean, I think a lot of it starts in the school. When you and I went to school. I mean, can you imagine showing up Friday for an exam? And I’m not really ready. You think I could take it Tuesday? Sure, you can take it Tuesday, um, that’s fine. Your grade will be worth 50%. Now, we will automatically cut. So if you get 100%. Right, it’ll be worth 50 points. Oh, that’s a serious consequence. Like, I, I think I better just wing it and take the five right now. Right? Like, because I gotta weigh my options. But how would you and I feel when Mike and I have studied our butts off all week, we’d been up late working out of the exam comes and here comes our buddy chat. And he walks in and goes to that she’s like, oh, yeah, no problem, Chad. Full value. You can do it Tuesday. What? Wait, what? Like, no, no, like, we did our stuff. Like we’re ready. And like, there’s no penalty for not being ready. But well, you know, I don’t I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings and make them feel bad. What? How does it work like that all sudden, gives us no ability to lean on one another. Our whole team is broken down now. Because we can’t lean on the other person to do and their work and hold each other up. I mean, can you imagine if you’re Henry Ford develops the assembly line and the guy over there is leaning on his elbow going? Yeah, I I couldn’t put the left front tire on today. I know. I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t rest well, last night. So I and 970 cars come out without a tire? Yeah, like a hey, Trent, you’re fired immediately.

Mike Malatesta 44:06
Like, you can’t come back on Tuesday, but the tires? Great.

Trent Clark 44:10
Hey, if you just stuck them in the back lat I could. I could probably get them done over the weekend. Like what are you talking about? Put them back on the line? Not happening? Not happening. And so we’ve we’ve we’ve my fear, Mike? Oh, that’s a word. I don’t that’s the right word. But my concern is that tolerance is acceptance. And so we’ve tolerated this poor behavior again and again and again. And now. People don’t know that it’s not acceptable.

Mike Malatesta 44:41
Yeah. When you say that, as you were going through that, I was thinking a couple things to one, you know, the, the unacceptable thing I get the you know, making an accommodation because you feel sorry for the person or they’ve got a story or whatever. is like one of those easy sort of feel good responses to something that’s teaching a lesson that’s going to, you know, potentially get that person fired from every job they ever take. Yeah, of course, the rest of the world is not going to be like, oh, like you just said, oh, you can’t? Oh, yeah, it was the RFP was due on Tuesday. And yeah, you could. You weren’t up for it. Yeah. Okay. So you, so we submitted it on Thursday? Course, even get it because it was due on

Trent Clark 45:32
that went directly to the circular file.

Mike Malatesta 45:36
Yeah. So it’s like you’re teaching people to have a life of unfulfilled capability? Because that all comes from doing things on time, even if their heart if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re not ready. Yeah.

Trent Clark 45:53
Yeah. So I call that tough love. Yeah. But what people don’t understand is like, that is love. Like I am showing you how to be disciplined, how to self manage, how to prioritize and take things seriously, how to be a contributor, be an actor to an organization, because if you don’t contribute, and you’re a subtractor, all the time, like, nobody needs you. You don’t add any value, you’re a subtractor, you take away. And last time I looked like, if you come into my organization, and you take away from it, I’m not paying you anymore. Like I’m not paying you more, you’re not getting raised up, you’re not getting a bonus. Like none of those things are happening by being a subtractor. And so it’s, and no one really wants to see themselves as a subtractor. Right. But, but these behaviors are an actions are considerable. And while it’s not their intent to miss deadlines, actions are happening. And we’re being judged on those actions all the time. I mean, and sometimes unjustly. And I do not want to give the impression like that. There’s not empathy for people that there’s not, you know, something that we need to come alongside and coach folks up. But if we’re not going to give them the ability to learn and adapt to those situations, and deliver and contribute in a very positive and additional way to an organization. They’ve set themselves up for not having an ability to maintain employment, to maintain a household to maintain their payments and their mortgage. This is this is set up for a lot of years of hard effort and despair. It’s just not fair. That didn’t need to be that way.

Mike Malatesta 47:47
Yeah. Empathy is, you know, necessary and valuable. But that’s not empathy, what you were describing, right? That’s dismissal. That’s basically saying, It’s okay. That doesn’t help people. Yeah, what helps people is like you said, be empathetic. But then you take the test. Yeah.

Trent Clark 48:11
I wrote up, I wrote a speech that I taught that I gave to a school called Don’t do me any favors. And because I saw so many athletes when I was 30 years old, that had come through these programs, they were they were superstars at 12. Like most people in the professional ranks most not everybody, but most are early adapter superstars. They are physically gifted, they’re mentally gifted for this, they have an ability to learn. There’s a lot of skill sets. And so I see teachers that are like, hey, you know, Mike, don’t worry about the biology test. Listen, about putting up 30 on Friday night. All right, buddy. You know, like, wait a minute, don’t do me any favors. Now, Mike gets to college, and, and he can’t stay eligible to be on the basketball court. He’s just not a study. He doesn’t want to do his work. Because we’ve let somebody off the hook. We’ve, we’ve done what I call, oh, I’m a favor for you. This is a favor to you. Like it’s not a favor. You know, not holding people accountable is never a favor. That’s never helping anybody. Because at some point, you are going to answer to it. And when you can’t, then you don’t like the results like well, you know, this is this is baloney. They wanted me to do all the things in my job. Like, what’s up with that? Like, you know, and then it’s deflecting? You know what, Diana doesn’t do that. And you know, Brian shucks, this and it will deflect like, wait a minute, I’m just talking about clarity on your eight aren’t. You know, she’ll have her own meeting and he’ll have his own meeting. But let’s just talk about your meeting right now. Because we’re talking about you. Yeah. Oh, oh, that won’t me. No, no, I get that.

Mike Malatesta 49:55
So, when you were answering the How did it happen? Question. You said something When you were talking to the, the, the coach or whoever the MVP at the showcase thing was like the top person. And you said that this this you’re not enough but you’d been hearing all these times when you said that you heard that from your mom and I thought, What is that all about? Because most people’s moms are that are the opposite there. Yeah,

Trent Clark 50:23
you might listen my mom, my mom and God bless her. She’s awesome. Um, you know, she told me I can do anything. She would never tell me I couldn’t do something. You know, yet. There’s a real a realistic, you know, thing that we didn’t know any major leaguers, right? Um, you know, I played against Steve Avery when I was a kid. And when you saw him, you’re like, Whoa, I gotta give me a major leaguer. Like you knew it when he was 16 years old. You know, big kid six to throwing 93 miles an hour here. It was fast. first time I’d ever seen 90 miles an hour. It was like, someone shot a BB at me. And I was like, most of us to see that. It’s crazy. So, you know, I think I think my mom just wanted me to have a backup plan, right? Like, this is great. I want you to go for it. But this isn’t for everybody. Right? And as you’ve learned, probably my that some of the greatest accomplishments in this world is Ben like, it’s, it’s this, or it’s nothing, right? Like, I am cutting the line to the shoreline. And we’re sailing, and there’s no going back. This is it. We’re either gonna find it, or is no going back. Right. And so I had a great discussion with a good friend of mine, Bobby McGee on us. He’s hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves. He was like, man, you know, I wish I had gone to school. I wish I had a backup plan. But like, I don’t know if that’s actually what a served him. He is a major league coach just won the World Series. He’s put his head down. He has been absolute resolute through it. All. Right. And he’s just fabulous. I mean, in relentless, because there’s no plan B. And so some of that says like, hey, if, if, if that serves you, you know, that’s, that’s pretty powerful. And I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know if Plan B is, is great, and pivot and adapt and transition. And like you say, You shift, I’m going to shift over to Plan B because it’s a good option. And you know, ownerships great like directing us how we can do that out of your book. And, but some people who go like, there was never a Plan B, it’s this or nothing. Right? There is a there is a relentless pursuit of that. That separates a lot of people.

Mike Malatesta 52:55
What about you? What about your plan? B? What about when baseball was? And tennis?

Trent Clark 53:01
Yeah, I mean, I got hurt. I got hurt. And and all the time. I don’t think I I don’t think I was relentless. When I really looked back at me as a player. Yeah, an audit of excellence. You weren’t relentless. I was relentless about excellence. But I was relentless about excellence in a lot of things. I was relentless about excellent student. You know, I was an honor student. I was on the President’s list for I don’t know, I think six semesters in college. I mean, I wanted to be excellent, for sure. But if I had to look back as a 21 year old and where my priorities were, knowing what I know, now, I would have priorities, I would prioritize things differently, for sure. I mean, I wasn’t relentless in the right categories all the time. But I didn’t know it. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know better. Is that fair?

Mike Malatesta 53:51
If you say it’s fair, it’s fair.

Trent Clark 53:55
Yeah, so I look back. And that’s what that’s what I believe. But you know, when I got hurt, it’s also playing tennis and baseball. I know I’m coming up in the 80s and early 90s, right? And Moneyball, hadn’t happened yet. So Moneyball really would have served the guy like me a player like me, but also we didn’t know how to train. I knew how to train really hard. I was relentless in training, but I was also looking back training in a very inefficient way, and actually a detrimental way. So when I tore my rotator cuff, and I realized all this serving and all this throwing is repeatable damage to my shoulder, this isn’t working. So when they give you that pat on the back and go, Hey, kid, you make a great coach. That’s a drug transition that I wasn’t really ready for. But like, I didn’t know that that would come one day. But it came long before the major leagues. I never made it to the major leagues, right. I coached Yeah, in the major leagues, and I coached in the World Series, but I never played in the World Series, right?

Mike Malatesta 54:58
When that happened, so that’s that interesting so that hey, you’d be a great coach. That’s sort of like it’s probably a backhanded compliment, right? But it’s also there’s a, there’s like a finality to one other part of Yeah. Dream. So yeah, how long did it take you to? I wish I could come up with an IDI word for this. But how long did it take you to grab hold of that next? Like, okay, yeah, I can.

Trent Clark 55:28
Yeah, I mean, I think it took about I think it took about one year, a process of one year, which was a couple things happened during that year. One, the ability to play was becoming painful. I mean, it was becoming this painful option for me, of which took me about four to five hours of training room time a day to play. Oh, and I remember in one of my last games, like, you know, these last, probably four to six weeks, I couldn’t wash my hair after the game, I don’t have a lot now. But like, literally, I would use my left hand and just wash my hair, because like to lift my right arm up and just reach there to do it was just, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. So I learned how to watch and it was just painful. I I’d wake up in the middle of the night, just in in just sheer pain, like stand up on the floor in bed, because I rolled over on my shoulder in the night. And so you’re just getting to this point, like, hey, he was slowly identifying itself that maybe this isn’t in my cards, maybe this isn’t in my future. So as these little jabs of, of reality started sticking me in the ribs, man, and I was like taking shots and kidney blows. You know, I was like, Man, I gotta look forward to something else. And if I’ve, if I’ve got to shift, I got to shift to something I actually true desire, which is discontinued audit of excellence, of how would I continue to help athletes be their best? How can I continue to help people go out and create what they’re dreaming about? And so I became a dream-maker. Man, I mean, because, you know, Mike, the funny thing was, when I look back at like, when I went to my first World Series, I was 25 years old. Right? And so 1213 years ago, I was running around my backyard hitting a wiffle ball going, here comes Clark, in the bottom of the ninth, you know, the curveball comes in the right field, you know, like, and I’m all excited and jogging around blowing kisses, everybody’s I won game seven, you know, and now, I’m sitting in a dugout, in Cleveland, Ohio. We’re playing the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. And every kid on the field is actually living that dream. Right? We always say that, hey, you know, live the dream, right? Like very few people actually get to actually do it. So when I ask people, What are you dreaming about? I mean, what are you dreaming about? Because you can do it. I love the movie the edge, right? You know, the old movie with Anthony Hopkins. He’s all fired up, like what one man could do. So then get another one man can do so get another. And that’s right. And that takes me right back to being a 15 year old kid sitting in front of that x, big Lear. Hey, if you want to know how to do it, go out and find somebody who’s actually done it. And talk to them get a mentor, like learn, you can hyper learn very quickly from the people and Mike, you’ve run multimillion dollar companies. You’ve written this great book, you’re giving all these advice, like, let me You’re brilliant, right? And how many people a year, come up and say to you, Hey, I’d like to own a multimillion dollar company one day, can you show me how you did that? Do more than five people come to you a year and ask you that?

Mike Malatesta 59:10
No, I don’t think five people in my life have asked me that. Why not? You’ve done

Trent Clark 59:15
it. You’ve done it. Like you’re you’re awesome at it. Like it is an absolute superpower of yours. And people think like, oh, that’s That’s Mike Malatesta. He owns that fab his company. He’s so successful. I can’t talk to him. Like, guess what? Like, let me let me ask you the things you learned along the way you shared in a book, but if you saw a young person in their late 20s, who wants to do what you’ve done? Wouldn’t you be honored to share that information to them?

Mike Malatesta 59:43
Of course. Yeah. Yeah. Like, listen, if

Trent Clark 59:46
you’re listening out there, and this is what you want, like, make a list of five people that you think I mean, the dream list I’m talking if you want advice from LeBron James like five Like, make your list and start calling them up one by one. Listen, you can find them on Twitter, you can find them on Instagram, ask the question, hey, if I would commit to coming to meet you once a month, would you sit down with me for one hour? And help me get because I want to be someday where you’re at. And guess what? You will not get to number five, because someone will say yes.

Mike Malatesta 1:00:27
That is great advice. is a crazy, that is great advice. There’s so many times in my life where I’ve been afraid that if I ask for something, it might be. I might be, you know, it might be embarrassing for me to ask, right? Because it’s so far out of my league. But when I do get up the courage, and I just pick up the phone, or I send the email or whatever I do to get something started, I’m almost always pleasantly surprised. One because they because I get a good get a response. I get what I want. But too, because, you know, I? And I think this is important. I’m I asked in an inappropriate way. That’s right. Right. If you want help from someone, don’t ask them for something as if they’re the expectation should be that they give it. Yeah, be, you know, asking a humble. Really, thank you and way respect. respectful.

Trent Clark 1:01:18
Yeah. And, and, by the way, offer what I could do for you. Yeah, I mean, how many steps how many stories have said, like, Hey, listen, to learn, from you, Mike, about how I could one day, own a multimillion dollar company, I would be willing to come to work for you for free for six months, just to learn. And this is how I think I could contribute very well, to your organization, these are a couple of skills I have that I think would really add value. And this is what I would hope to get from you.

Mike Malatesta 1:01:55
Right? I’ll tell you what, I have gotten a lot more than five times. Okay, so probably resonate with you. I accept a LinkedIn invitation connection. And I and the next thing I get immediately is an offer to improve the SEO on my website. Like, you know, just some Yeah. Out of like, what? Why would you think that anyone would be interested in something you could very well help me? I mean, you could be very, yeah. But all the stuff that we just talked about, you know, be genuine, be respectful, be all these things new. None of that is just like, can I sell you something?

Trent Clark 1:02:38
Well, and I think you’re touching on something really big for me, right? Which is big IDI authenticity, right? Like being genuine and authentic, in all things always serves. And people struggle with that. Because, you know, we’ve got the, you know, we’ve got the complex, right of like, everyone’s always better, right, the imposter syndrome. And, and it’s, it’s scary out there. But like, for me, like, I truly believe like, you know, I’m a Christian guy. I believe in faith. I think God made everybody perfect. Like he didn’t make any mistake, right? So like, there’s no air and I’m not going to be the one who said like, oh, man, you know, God, you mucked it up, I should have been taller. No way. Not a chance, right? Like, so made me know, it’s perfect. And like, I don’t need that guy. I can just be the best me I can be and no one else can be that like you the genuine, authentic article like FOAP you got a stamp on you like, Oh, this is authenticated, you know, signed by your higher power, whatever, like you were made in one way and the DNA and all I’m a science guy, right? Because I got a degree in physiology. So like, it’s amazing the human body, right? Is if you were like to take all the systems and put it together in today’s modern money, it would cost $500 million to recreate that system 500 million, just the human body like how all the systems that have to work in conjunction with each other $500 million, how many people do you know that are the authority and have their role and responsibility is of managing and taking care of over $500 million in a business?

Mike Malatesta 1:04:29
Very few, very few

Trent Clark 1:04:31
right? But all of us are entrusted that to ourselves each and every day. Like this is who we are, you cannot be replicated at any kind of cost. So like to not be your genuine authentic best self for people. Makes no sense to me.

Mike Malatesta 1:04:48
Do you have time for one more question?

Trent Clark 1:04:50
Always for you.

Mike Malatesta 1:04:51
Come on, man. Okay, so you your coaching was was a 12 years or more than that. Okay.

Trent Clark 1:04:58
Yeah, so I started in 19 93 was Sparky. And then the strike hit 94. Great first year. And, and I ended in 2005. So better part like 13 years.

Mike Malatesta 1:05:11
Okay. And during that time you were around, arguably the top 1% of all baseball players in the world, best players in the world, no doubt. And you had mentioned earlier that, you know, even some of the best, which may be natural, a lot of it might be natural for them. They have, they do not have an audit of excellence mindset for themselves. So, in your experience of those top 1% What percentage have this audit of excellence? Mindset, I’ll call it? Because I’m Yeah, I’m just wondering how many of those tap 1% like hardware does that narrow down?

Trent Clark 1:05:59
Yeah. Yeah. So I would say that in the top league levels, it’s literally over 90% have that mentality, they are just special in that way. It’s the separator, like, like self discipline is a separator in business. Right? When you talk about good leaders, to great leaders, the self discipline is probably the one categorical one that catapults the good leader to great leader. And there can be a lot of other things, a lot of mindset stuff, but that is probably the one for me. So when you asked me that, Mike, I immediately went to how many people have said, Who’s the best player you ever saw Trent? I’m like, oh, yeah, you don’t know them. Because physically gifted way Great. Never got out a double a ball. Because didn’t have the didn’t have the IDs. Right? No integrity, no humility, no spirituality. No accountability. And you know what we really want in our world and art on our teams, we really want a card, we really want aces, because we play a card game. And we sit out there we go, man. If I got all the ACES against you, Mike, I win, right? So I’m gonna go and I want all aces. So my ace is an acronym for cartus, coachability, adaptability, responsibility. And they do those three things again, and again, and again, proving dependability. And so if I’ve got those four every time like, this is where we’re back to, I’ll take 10 more just like them. But here’s a double A player. With all the talents, six foot four 230 pounds, hits the ball, like it comes off as bad, like, just pounded a ping pong ball thing is mashed. Right? But I’m not listening. coachability I’m not interested. I’m already great. Just ask me. Adaptability. Um, you haven’t trouble with disaster, you pitch? Well, I’m just gonna hit homeruns I won’t hit fast balls. At the top level, they’ll know that and they’ll never throw you one. Right? Like, you’re gonna be found out. Right? So adaptability? Nope, I’m not interested. So he never works on the skills of adaptability, responsibility, I won’t be taking any for me, I’ll be blaming, I’ll be making excuses. I’ll be doing other things. Because whatever, it’s somebody else’s fault. Because I’m already great. And there couldn’t be a bad thing. And dependability is like a you know, how many times are we gonna have to have this conversation, right? So not really dependable can’t count on them. So doesn’t matter how much talent, it just doesn’t matter how much talent and you don’t want, I think I want to come in as adaptability. Because it’s such a big thing right now. It’s probably the number one thing I’d hire for today is adaptability. Because look what’s happened in the last three years in our world, like it’s crazy, right? And we need to have adaptability. It’s very important. So I really put a stronghold on coachability. Adaptability, this is all the card things, really. But those two really stick out. But I’ll tell you, where people make a mistake in authority, is they say, Well, you know, Mike, I really need you to have some adaptability around these things. Right. Great. So have I coached you up in the skill sets that I’m going to need you to adapt to. Right, too. If I say, Hey, listen, the swings not looking great. And we need to adjust off your fastball. I really need you adjust the swing to the breaking ball. But then I never teach you that I never give you reps hitting the breaking ball. I never work out the video that you’re going to need to see to pick that up out of the player’s hand of when that recognition of that breaking ball and all the things I can do that when I need you to adapt it. This is the this is the modern day issue in baseball. Hey, Mike, I need you to been ever goes nobody bumps anymore. We don’t even work on it. No one’s required to but they don’t even practice it and then they go on the biggest game on Game Six of the World Series. Go ahead, Mike. We need you been like I haven’t been in since June. Oh For what are you talking about? So I’m asking you to adapt, but I didn’t give you the skill set to adapt to. And then I go, just you shall maladjusted mucked it up, like screwed up for us, like, women. I didn’t help him. I didn’t offer any value as a leader, say, hey, I need your adaptability. But I need to do I have these skill sets that you need to adapt to? And this is where if we’re not telling these people for not giving them those things of what we have to adapt to and be able to do and given the skill sets coach them up, then how are we helping them? We’re just we’re not.

Mike Malatesta 1:10:34
So you’re saying that even if someone is naturally inclined to be adaptable, they still might not be good at Adaptive at adapting because they don’t know what you want them to adapt to? Is that what you’re saying?

Trent Clark 1:10:43
Yeah, if you asked me, what’s your what’s your main company? Like?

Mike Malatesta 1:10:48
My main wow, I just sold. Yeah. So I’m kind of in between, but I’ll say my main company is how did happen? LLC.

Trent Clark 1:10:56
Okay. Okay. So let’s, let’s come back to the company you sold that was in the refuse business, right? Yeah. It was in a waste business. Yeah. Okay, good. So you said, Hey, listen, I’m with your company, we need to adapt to, in this refuse business to recycling. We were no longer meeting refuse, we’re gonna recycle everything. And I’m like, I don’t know how to do it. Like I like anything about recycling. I don’t know, like, is that a special? You know, landfill? Is that a special place for that? Do I need special equipment for that? All these things. So you can say, Hey, listen, now, I want you to do this. But if I don’t have any skill sets to do it, it’s not gonna go well, right? Like, you can ask me to do it. And I can muck it up for a while. But like, unless I’m shown what you need me to do. And I develop some skills around that. I don’t have any confidence in it. Right? Because confidence is prep and reps. So if I don’t have any preparation, and if any repetition around doing something, I’m not very confident doing it. So if you’re adapt, if you’re asking me to adapt to something, that I’m not confident in doing it, how am I gonna go? Probably not very well.

Mike Malatesta 1:12:01
Not very well. Not very well. Okay. I appreciate that additional context on that. I said, that was the last question. But since we’re in the middle of baseball strike, and since you’ve got a lot of, I asked you the question everyone asked, you know, what do you think? What’s, what’s going on? Clicks?

Trent Clark 1:12:18
Yeah, I got, I gotta tell you, you’re gonna be surprised by this. Not following? I was part I was. Yeah, yeah, I was part of 1994. When, you know, I just didn’t see it coming, that they would cancel the World Series. Like, that was, you know, obviously, the only year was 1994, that they did not have a World Series. So, um, and in fact, my 1995 ring, right? This is, this is a no to, I did go to World Series 95. And very uniquely on that ring and shows your records every year. So in Cleveland, we were 100 wins and 42 losses and 99. Five, because of the strike this season started late. Yeah, they cut 20 games off the season. So the top record, by the way, is 116. Ever. So if we had another 20 games, hey, do we win 16 out of 20 either record or break the record? So there was a there’s a lot of like, it was a really good team. So um, well, you have the best wonder what could have been but the strike thing is, it’s a challenge. And I certainly see both sides of it. But I think this is back to you know, clarity and visibility has been gone for a while on this. And now all sudden, trying to take a step back and create rules and guidelines that kind of got really gray for a long time is really difficult. Right? You know, if we ever if you ever see a school teacher who lets everything go, right, the first semester, everyone, you know, no one has to raise a hand they can talk when they want to, and get up out of their desk, go to the bathroom, don’t even ask for the hall pass. And someone walks in goes, holy cow, like Clark’s got no control over his room, like a whole thing’s crazy. And then I’m like, oh, okay, the principal said, we’re all taking this up. So after Christmas, the kids come back and I’m like, you raise your hand, if you’re gonna talk. You ask the hall pass up and you know, to be suspended for three days. I’m like, wait, what? Like, you’ve already established all these rules, and now you’ve got to tighten it back up. That is a really, really difficult thing to do. So I think that’s where they’re at today. Okay. They’re trying to tighten after like, it’s too late. Right,

Mike Malatesta 1:14:27
right. Well just say, you know, what you just described there. It’s like, you see that in business all the time. It’s like, I’ve been letting this stuff go forever, right? Are they gonna take me seriously? Like the guy who shows up at 755 instead of 745? Yeah, they’re gonna take me seriously because I’m gonna come out now and say, you know, hammers coming down, you know, dude, yeah. No, it’s like, no, it’s, yeah.

Trent Clark 1:14:50
Yes. Hard, hard to hard to have that authentic authority if you don’t actually provide it yourself, and you’ve allowed this all this time. So what you probably still so so my recommendation to someone would be, don’t start with everyone else. Start with you. Right? You get that right. And then and by the way, this is why they call me right? I get that right? Then my key executives get that right, then our TVs get that right. Then our management gets that right, and we go trickle down from the top. Now, we can do that in conjunction, because I can do that also, with the young people coming in the new. Very green. And what’s the word for it? very impressionable, actionable. Yeah, I can train them up in the way I want them to go. Meanwhile, though, we’ll have this big gap in the middle because the leaders are doing it. And the early edgy people are doing it. And everybody in the middle is like, Yeah, you don’t need to do that. No, yeah, we did. We haven’t done that around here. Like for years, and like, Oh, this is how I was trained, I better stay the course. Right? So we’ve got to close that gap fast. But that’s how you change

Mike Malatesta 1:16:04
organizations. What has to be happening? Or who’s the ideal sort of situation? Who should be contacting you? To help them?

Trent Clark 1:16:15
Yeah, I think people who want their organization to, to improve, who’s looking to direct and build a culture and climate of coachability and productivity, right, we’re talking ultimately, that’s ultimate IDI, is what we really want is productivity. And we want to be we want to have that. But, um, you know, this is like, starting like, hey, I want to be 40 pounds lighter tomorrow, too. But apparently, I spent 30 years putting on the 40 pounds, so it’s not coming off. So I’ve got to take the steps to get back to that level. And it’s the same way with productivity, I got to do the things in the pyramid, because the productivity is at the top of the pyramid. And so we get that, we got to take the steps and make sure we build the foundation, right? integrity, humility, spirituality, quality, so important, we got to get that foundation, right, and then build up with the right people get the cards on the team, and then really train up our executive level with clarity, visibility, you know, all the things that we really gotta get that pyramid, right, to keep driving people. So the pyramid of leadership, it is pretty important when we talk about accountability for us.

Mike Malatesta 1:17:28
Jesus, like who knew there were so many words that ended in IDI that were so powerful. And writing down every time you say one, I write it down. I’ll send you the pyramid. You’ll love that. Oh, would you? That’d be great. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that’d be awesome.

Trent Clark 1:17:43
You can even take the quiz man, you can even take the quiz like, how am I? How am I on all these areas of the 80s? Like, and when you grade yourself, you’re honest with yourself, you’ll take some self awareness go, wow, my foundation is strong. But like, when I really look at some of these things around, I’ve got some gaps. Like, what can I do to shore that up? And that’s a great way we start with people.

Mike Malatesta 1:18:05
And the intention thing just resonated with me there because I immediately went to accountability. And I say I’m a pretty good with accountability. But I have an intention to be always good with accountability. But I do not have a practice to be always good with accountability.

Trent Clark 1:18:19
Yeah. You and everyone else, by the way. Yeah. Like don’t beat yourself up on this like,

Mike Malatesta 1:18:24
right, right, right. But as soon as I don’t soon as I don’t do that all the time, I’m telling people that it’s okay. Like, I just saw that. I don’t like it. That’s not what we’re supposed to be doing. But I didn’t say anything. So you’re saying he just saw that? I know. I’m not supposed to be doing that. But he didn’t say anything. So it must be okay.

Trent Clark 1:18:44
Tolerance is acceptance. Yeah, tolerance is. And by the way, how about for, you know, the challenge really, in business, right, is we get in a lot of like, that bridge from having this great organization. I spent all this time developing, and I missed this in my family. Right. So I like oh, you know, my intent on accountability at work is spot on. Everything that’s I’m accountable to i dot the i’s cross the T’s I’m nailing it. And then I come home and go. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if I can get home at seven for dinner, honey, you know, 745 You know, why I intended to be home on time. Right? You know, I intended to take you out Thursday nights. I intended to you know, get the kids to school on you know, get them to the ballgame, Saturday morning, but you know, I got this client coming in and they’re, you know, it’s always like, well, all your intentions with our family is second. But accountability with business is always number one, right? It’s like, oh, so I know where we stand. No, I understand. So I’m not saying it out loud. I’m just all my actions say, Hey, everyone, just so you know, you’re number two.

Mike Malatesta 1:19:44
Right? Right. Right. All the time. You see that? It’s hard stuff. I know understand. They know that that’s the door you know, that they’re used to it. You know, all of those things that we say and yeah, they’re probably not they probably not any Any of those things now putting up with it,

Trent Clark 1:20:02
we’re justifying it right? Like, hey, listen, everyone wants to go on spring break to Florida, right? Dad’s got to work. I’m just gonna go bring home some bacon, you know, like, we got to do this stuff and we’re gonna justify justify, but it’s tough man. It’s Listen, like I said, like, it’s not easy. And I don’t want people to go out there and be so hard on themselves, okay, I’m not, I’m not doing this right every time like, Hey, we’re, we’re all mucking it up a little bit, right? We’re all trying to get better each and every day. But I think, you know, self care and really, you know, getting to be your genuine, authentic self is something that we can all vastly improve on. And we can work at it and I’m okay because, you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know, we’re all still working progress.

Mike Malatesta 1:20:42
So everybody, you can connect with Trent. You can email him Trent that course that’s his website as well. his podcast winners find a way check it out. Trent. Thanks for all the goodies thanks for all the wonderful stories that you shared with us today. And and thanks for making a big difference. Man. That’s what’s really been cool about talking to you. I can tell that you are a difference maker and a dream maker so you’re a difference maker and a dream maker. Appreciate you being on.

Trent Clark 1:21:12
Thank you for having me.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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