look at the film

In inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

I started watching the Facebook original series “Tom vs. Time” about Tom Brady and the way he prepares mentally and physically for the game of football at his age (40). I had high hopes for the show, but it fell pretty flat for me (so I’m not even going to link it!).

But what it did bring to mind is just how much film professional athletes watch. They watch film of their competitors to try and get an edge, sure, but they also watch film of themselves to see how they are performing and where 1% improvements can be made.

It’s that type of focus on improvement and performance that allows professional athletes like Tom Brady to outperform nearly everyone else on the planet in his field. But we largely consider “watching film” as an idea isolated to sports.

To perform at a higher level in any field or profession, it’s important to be “looking at the film.” Doing retrospectives, post-mortem analyses, tracking metrics and KPIs, and even journaling are ways that we can be thoughtful about the outcomes we’ve achieved and the process by which we arrived there.

When we, or our organization, experience the same results over and over without understanding why, it’s time to look at the film and be honest with ourselves.


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