One of my valued customers runs a reseller event every year. At each one an ‘inspirational’ speaker is duly booked. This year’s was so good, most of the audience left the room wanting to join up. He was a squadron leader with the Air Force’s elite flying display team; the Red Arrows.
He gave amazing insight into how they perfect performance. After each ‘show’, they invariably receive all the plaudits. Yet they sit down and say to each other, what could you have done even better. And they’ll say things like ‘I could have done this’, ‘alignment here could have been better’ and so on. The point being, they strive for the impossibly good results.
I once saw a documentary on footie teams where the interviewer asked how often they sat through videos of games, and one player answered ‘only the ones we lose’. How the Red Arrows expose this as flawed thinking…..
And a final footnote, what do you do when your ‘performance’ doesn’t matter or goes unnoticed? Well, you know it does, and you seek to improve it nonetheless. One example was where the team were doing a gig in Belfast. On their way back to base in Lincolnshire, their flight plans were torn up, and they were asked to ‘fly-by’ the Millennium Stadium (formerly Cardiff Arms Park) for the Heineken Rugby European Cup Final. Visibility was poor with low cloud cover, but they made sure they’d get right over the stadium. When they landed, they patted each other on the back for a job well done…. only to discover that the low cloud produced rain, meaning the stadium roof was closed, so no-one saw their daredevil acrobatics!