Matt Clayton

Matt Clayton

Kia Ora!
In other words "greetings" in Maori. If you can't tell, I'm based in New Zealand (otherwise known as Aotearoa). I'm Matt, one of the Directors of Little Giant Design, a fast-growing 23+ person creative digital design agency.

I've always been a 'creative', a dreamer, an imagineer. Architecting solutions, strategies and helping people achieve success is a wonderful thing to do every day, regardless of whether they're a globally established market leader or a dude working out of his garage (in NZ, it may be his cowshed - you never know).

As blessed as I am to do what I love every day, work is definitely not my only passion. If you know anyone who plays basketball religiously you may have heard them say "Ball is life". It's true.

When I say 'ball religiously' I mean exactly that - the court is my church. Basketball is more than just a sport; it's a deeply spiritual activity. For real.

Basketball is just as much a mental activity as it is a physical one. You need to let go of your mind to play well. You need to trust your training, get to your spots and play your way. You can't overextend or try to do things you can't do in basketball - someone will block your ass real quick. Trust me on that.

Once you start to explore the game in depth, you start to understand just how brilliantly complex and simple it is at the same time. Being an elite player requires a huge amount of skill or will (or both). Regardless of what kind of player you are and no matter how good you are, ultimately you're part of a team.

Michael Jordan didn't win at the NBA level until he learned to trust his teammates. He didn't win until he learned how to lose. He didn't just make 'the shot' - he made tens, probably hundreds of thousands of that same shot before he made the one in Game 6 against Utah. Discipline, practice, consistency, trust, humility - all of these things are part of the formula to success.

Basketball has taught me that you need to put the people around you in the best position to be successful. You can't make a 'big' with zero handle play point guard. His job is usually to rebound, protect the rim and defend. You have to play to your strengths and put your teammates in a position to use theirs - that's the key.

Professionally, I focus on putting the people around me in a position to be successful. I use what I'm good at to allow them to do things that they're good at. You simply can't do everything yourself - no matter how good you are, you're not going to win until you trust the people around you to make the right play. Hey, if they make the wrong one, you both learn from it and move on. It's all part of the process - it's all part of something much bigger than the game itself. Ball up!

 

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