Be the Best (Insert Your Name Here) You Can Be

Omefrans_sharpenknife_squareLast week I attended a meeting where a very famous sports broadcaster gave a motivational speech. Generally, I am not very motivated by motivational speakers. This gentleman, however, was sufficiently non-motivating in a way that was actually inspiring.

Let me explain.

Rather than hyping up the audience with animated clichés and pithy anecdotal stories that I’ve already heard before from other motivational speakers, this gentleman spoke mostly about the highs and lows of his career. The twenty minute speech was delivered in a very low-key, humble manner, and purposefully included mistakes and lessons learned in getting to where he is today (the status of which, as I mentioned, is, “Very Famous”).

You would think by now this seasoned professional should be coasting on the fumes of his previous two decades of success. Instead, he spoke with great personal conviction about his ongoing obsession with the quality of his work.

“Every night after the game, I go home and review the tapes of my broadcast,” he told us. “I pick apart what I did well, and what I could have done differently. Did I use proper grammar? Was I prepared well enough? Did I clearly describe the plays? I then take notes and try to incorporate them into the next day’s work.”

This amazed me. Here is this smooth, polished, successful professional, a guy who literally has made it to the top rung of his chosen profession, and yet he is still thinking about what he could be doing better, how he might improve his performance.

Even if he is the only person who notices.

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  • Think it’s great to examine how we could’ve done things differently but I think we can go overboard too. It’s a fine line – leaning into the moment and rewriting it later. I haven’t mastered either.