A Lesson from Peyton Manning to Leaders: How Often do you Look at the Film?

by Bill Fitzgerald

 A football team is one of the most finely tuned operations you will ever see. Each play, each movement is carefully scripted with the goal being nothing less than perfection. It's a chess match where every move matters and success is ultimately determined by who ever executes the best. 

One of the best examples of this precision is how a team continually improves during the game. While a team will start each game with a game plan, as the game progresses, it inevitably requires modifications to respond to conditions they didn't anticipate.

This is exactly what happens every time a quarterback like Peyton Manning sits down with a coach to review the film. That doesn't happen once a game. It happens after almost every set of downs!

Why? Without that kind of real-time feedback and coaching, the chance of winning is put at serious risk.

Looking at the film allows a quarterback to make adjustments, correct mistakes and to see opportunities for scoring they didn't know were possible before the game began. The film provides a window into how the team is performing and without that visibility, it becomes very difficult to improve.

Too busy to improve - time for feedbackNow think about the team you manage or the team of which you are a member. When was the last time you got off the playing field, even for a few minutes, to look at the film? If you are like most teams, it rarely happens and when it does, the process is slow and time consuming.

Imagine what your team could accomplish if they had the ability to regularly and quickly review film and take immediate corrective action?

Here is what you can tell by looking at the film:

  • How clear is everyone about our mission?
  • How clear is everyone about our most important objectives?
  • How clear is everyone about his or her specific responsibilities?
  • How clear are we about what our key stakeholders expect?
  • How effective are we at making decisions and solving problems?
  • How effective are we a communicating with one and other?
  • How effective are we at resolving differences?
  • How effective are we at collaborating with one and other?
  • How engaged are team members?

Having a fast, easy and anonymous way to ask these questions and gather this feedback not once a year, but throughout the year, is absolutely essential for any team to succeed.

This is the learning process every team needs in order to perform at the highest-level possible. And, it needs to happen quickly and frequently to make a significant difference in performance. Getting this instantaneous feedback is no different than the film a quarterback sees multiple times throughout the game. How can any team that feels a sense of urgency to succeed, expect to win without this kind of feedback on a regular basis?



Of timely interest regarding leadership...
~David Miles

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."

~ Thomas A. Edison



Jan 27, 2016.  Bill Fitzgerald is Co-Founder and Managing Director of 1000 Trees LLC, the creators of Two Minute Feedback- a fast and easy way to gather feedback from colleagues, customers and coworkers.

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