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Pat Croce Blogs - Donny on Overachievement

Monday, 7 Jul 2008 | 4:34 PM ET

I had a great time this past week as a panelist on the taping of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. The topic was “overachievement.” His main guest was an author and professor on

performance psychology, named Dr. John Eliot. The name didn’t ring a bell when I was provided some of the doctor’s strategic achievement points during the pre-interview before the taping - several of which were in complete opposition to my way of thinking.

I didn’t know I even knew Dr. Eliot until he walked up to me while I was sitting in the makeup chair at CNBC and said enthusiastically, “Pat, so they have the two of us together today firing up this show! Have you talked to Jeff lately?”

Here I am sitting in this comfortable chair getting gunk applied to my goateed-face, thinking: Who the heck is Jeff? Luckily, when I looked at the good doctor with a thousand-mile stare, he continued, “Jeff Hoke.”

Holy cow! I know this guy! I’ve had dinner with him!

Over a year ago, at the request of a mutual friend, Jeff Hoke, we had dinner at the trendy Barkley Prime restaurant in center city Philadelphia. My grey matter finally started firing on all cylinders. I instantly remembered enjoying John’s company and swapping anecdotes about our motivational work with professional athletes. He’s a good dude.

Today, however, we were going to address the views expressed in his new book called Overachievement on national TV and I didn’t care if we enjoyed Kobe sliders together in the past or we shared locker room war stories, I was going to roast his a**! How the heck could he say that you need to be an SOB to be successful? What was he thinking when he believed that setting goals is for couch potatoes?

I wasn’t alone on the dais or on my passionate opinions. Joining me was Mel Robbins and Eric Trump. Eric is a young smart executive within his pop’s global firm, who like “The Donald” wasn’t afraid to voice his beliefs. Mel is a successful life coach with a morning radio show on Sirius. Other overachieving guests rotated onto the show throughout the hour as Donny effortlessly stoked the fires between John and us.

Back to the show.

I think I almost jumped off my stool when one of John’s first principles was to not apologize. In fact, I interrupted the show’s flow since Mel, Eric, and I weren’t even introduced to the audience yet when I screamed, “I disagree!” Donny laughed, led directly to the pre-produced introductory packages on the three of us, and then easily segued to my thoughts.

I’m a big believer that what’s worse than making a mistake is not admitting it and correcting it. And apologizing for it! I relayed the painful story regarding my rookie year as president of the Philadelphia 76ers. I had a hired a rookie general manager, who hired a rookie coach. The outcome of our first season together was predictable in hindsight. I fired both men and stood in front of the media and fans of Philadelphia, and I apologized. I admitted I made a mistake in not hiring winning experience and went quickly about correcting it.

The apology was appreciated and respected by the fans. The correction turned into the hiring of Larry Brown. And the rest of our overachieving story is history.

- Pat

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For more about Pat, visit his website!