The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

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#318: Clark Kellogg – How To Take Control Of Your Personal Development

*This episode was recorded live in front of a 200 person audience in Dayton, Ohio at the Sonny Unger Memorial Banquet.

Clark Kellogg serves as one of the the premier voices in college basketball.  He works for CBS Sports. In 1997, Kellogg joined CBS Sports full-time as a studio/game analyst for college basketball coverage and was one of three in-studio hosts for March Madness.  In March 2010, Kellogg played a game of H.O.R.S.E. against U.S. President Barack Obama. The game, called “P.O.T.U.S.” for the occasion, was won by Obama.

Prior to that, Clark was an All-American at Ohio State University. In 1982, Kellogg declared for the NBA draft after his junior year of college and was a 1st round draft pick (8th overall) of the Indiana Pacers. In his first season, he was selected as a member of the NBA All-Rookie Team. Converse signed him to an endorsement deal, to release his own Converse “Special K” sneaker.


  • Take control of your own development – This is YOUR responsibility.  That’s your property.  Be intentional about growing and getting better and improving.  It’s not just the big things.  It’s the small things.  Who are you associating with?  How are you impacting them?  Who do you want to be?  There are a lot of distractions, there will be bumps, headwinds… Own your development.”
  • Control the controllables: your attitude, your effort, your faith. The most effective leaders are “others centered.” This is a distinct and intentional process to help elevate others. Mindset: The battlefield for a lot of our challenges is in our own mind. Attitude impacts how we move forward. “Never major in minor things.” Most of life’s disappointments are not major in the context of the bigger picture. Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
  • Focusing on just one sport versus playing multiple sports.
  • Growing up with a dad who was a policeman in Cleveland, OH.
  • Advice to parents — Expose your children to a variety of opportunities and support their passions
    • Needs to be an interest and a desire on your kids part
    • Having athletically talented kids (son played college basketball and professionally.  A daughter who plays college volleyball).
  • Focus on fun and fundamentals:
    • If you have an aptitude to go to the higher levels as you get older, then focus
  • Discussed why he went to Ohio State — Clark was a top three player in America at the time.
  • The intensity of the rivalry with Indiana and playing against Bobby Knight
  • What it was like getting a show named after him from Converse
  • The makeup of a great coach:
    • A passion for the role of leading people
    • A willingness to adapt and adjust to the changes in the game and personalities on the team
    • An effective communicator — What you desire and what needs to be done
    • Set the tone of humility of accountability
    • Genuine — They are themselves — “Players can pick up on phonies quickly”
      • This establishes trust
  • “Are they getting better because you’ve been their coach?” — That’s the question a coach should always ask themselves
  • A coach should always be developing their players
  • What to look for in a teammate?
    • Consistency of attitude and effort
      • “Don’t want the volatile person who is up and down.  I want consistency.”
    • Being able to accept criticism and coaching
    • Able to constructively criticize others in a positive way
    • “Who you are should not fluctuate based on where you are.  There should be a consistency in who you are.  That’s something that should be worked on and you should be intentional about it.  Authenticity is powerful and impactful.”
  • The moment of having his career cut short (only 26 years old) because of a knee injury:
    • “It was brutal initially, but came to peace with it after having multiple surgeries and realized I couldn’t play anymore.”
  • Starting the next career — TV broadcasting
    • Humbling self and starting at Cleveland State as an analyst.  Back to the basics, starting from the bottom
    • “I didn’t become good at basketball right away.  If I’m going to do this well, I need to start where I need to start.  I got the reps.  Radio was great training.  You have to be fairly quick.”
  • The importance of having mentors and being a mentor for others
  • “How do I become excellent at this thing I’m interested in?”
  • “You need to be unique, but you need to be you.”  You must be authentic.
    • “Everyone can relate to food.”  Use food analogies in basketball.  Using your personality as part of your craft to be relatable.
  • Working with Charles Barkley:
    • “It’s exactly as it appears.  Charles is a personality, successful businessman, and very smart.”
  • Playing basketball at the White House with President Obama — Losing to him in P.O.T.U.S
  • How Larry Bird was the best trash-talker Clark played against
  • How Clark prepares for a broadcast:
    • “I’m consistent in the process to be ready in the moments as they unfold.”
    • Visit team’s practices, review notes from prior year, watch a lot of games on TV, chart each game watched — “You remember things better when you write it down.  I’m always taking notes when I watch games.”
  • Who are you associating with? Who do you want to be? What are you doing to be that?
  • Live a life of gratitude. Salt water and fresh water can’t come from the same spring. You cannot be thankful and hateful at the same time. Be grateful for what you have while striving to improve.
  • Excellent leaders = Be “others” centered.  “Others” focused.  They want to help elevate others.
    • Be available and giving of yourself to others.  Help mentor people earlier in their career.
  • Good habits are hard to break.  Build good habits.


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