The great value in taking a moment to reflect on your day.

This fall I have helped coach my 11-year old son Magnus’ football team. The experience has been extremely rewarding. It’s fun to get back involved in tackle football and all that it teaches players about teamwork, strategy, execution, brotherhood, and eye makeup.

It is fascinating to see how much our team is improving every week. Several parents came up to me after our game on Saturday to tell me that they are impressed by how much the team has grown over our first 5 games.

A significant part of our improvement plan is watching game film. We film each game and then use a platform called Hudl to share it with the players. We break each play down Clint Eastwood-style, noting the good, the bad, and the ugly. #DoodaloodalooWaaWaaWaaaa

We call out the good plays, the great tackles, the key blocks, the great hustle that made a difference. But perhaps more importantly, we call out where players did the wrong things, and what they should do differently next time. Sharing the example and the recipe for correction is a huge part of the learning experience.

When I see how much learning and improvement comes from studying our team game film I find myself wanting to rewatch my days and see my opportunities to get better.

  • I would look for wasted time and missed opportunities.
  • I want to look for better alternatives to the decisions I made.
  • I would want to review the times I could have accomplished more and been more productive. That is a frequent concern of mine at the end of each day.
  • I would like to study the cause and effect of my actions.
  • I would like to find opportunities to grow and learn.
  • I would like to find more ways to connect with my kids, my wife, my coworkers, and friends.
  • I would like to see the hilarious things that happened around me that I missed.

The Problem

Unless you Truman Show yourself, you are never likely to have a full game film of your day. Plus, it would take a full day to watch. Which is as practical as getting a life-size tattoo of yourself on yourself.

Journaling

However, at the end of each day, you can reflect on your day. You can watch the game film of your day in your head. You can keep a journal to help you grow. You can write down what went well, what you learned, and what you would do differently next time. The writing itself will help reinforce the lessons. But revisiting the journal later will be like a self improvement book you wrote for yourself.

Key Takeaway

Take 5 minutes at the end of your day to review the game film of the day in your head. Quickly step through your events, interactions, accomplishments, and misses. Capture the key wins, learnings and observations in a journal or an app. Consider what you should do differently and your corrected or improved behavior. And make yourself a little better every day.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Tom Brady shares why winning is so important in 6 words.

Last night the New England Patriots did it again. They won the Super Bowl, and were crowned as the best football team on the planet. It was Tom Brady’s 6th Championship in 18 years. Which means that every 3 years he lifts a Lombardi Trophy. And many Non-Patriotics hate him for it.

Why is the win still important?

In the middle of the Cray Cray Camera Crush at center field following the game, Tracy Wolfson of CBS asked Tom Brady why the win was so important to him.

He responded immediately with a 6-word answer:

We’ve been this far and lost. -Tom Brady

With those 6 words, we can all relate to one of the greatest champions in the history of sports. Because despite the six Super Bowl wins, he has also known loss on the biggest stage. Three times, in fact. Twice to the New York Giants, and just last year to the Philadelphia Eagles. He has lost a Super Bowl in a season when the Patriots went undefeated until the championship game. Ouch. #DavidTyree

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This David Tyree against-the-helmet Super Bowl catch was as improbable as it was heart breaking.

Key Takeaway

This is a great reminder that there is tremendous value in our losses. They drive up the value of each subsequent win.

  • The loss of a game makes you value a win.
  • The loss of a job makes you value your employment.
  • The loss of a new business pitch makes you value winning a new client.
  • The loss of a loved one makes you value your loved ones.
  • The loss of time makes you value the time you still have.
  • The loss of revenue makes you value revenue.
  • The loss of a friend makes you value new friendships.
  • The loss of oxygen makes you value oxygen.
  • The loss of 50 degrees makes you value finding 50 degrees. #PolarVortex
  • The loss of Breaking Bad makes you value Game of Thrones.
  • The loss of your swimsuit makes you value your swimsuit.

Are you really playing catch or are you just throwing?

People regularly ask me if I am a full-time blogger. This always makes me laugh. I assume that would mean that I blog 24-hours a day. Which would make it really hard to shower. Or trim my fingernails. I actually have several other responsibilities. I am the Founder of the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. And when I am not blogging or foundering I spend my time husbanding and fathering.

Fathering

I got my fist job as a father in 2005. Since then I have tripled my responsibilities. My youngest son is a 7-year old viking named Magnus who inherited my love for football.  In fact we toss a football around every morning while waiting for the school bus.

Yesterday Magnus must have eaten his Wheaties (which is a reference that you’ll only understand if you were born before 1980). Because every time Magnus tossed the ball he threw it way over my head. So I jogged to pick up the ball, and tossed it back. But after several of these Wheaties-fueled throws I stopped and asked Magnus,

‘Are we playing catch, or are you just playing throw?’

 

 

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Magnus always wants me to go long.

As I asked the question I recognized that Magnus’ approach was emblematic of a common problem that occurs every day in communications. Both personal and professional.

Tossing Marketing Messages

In the most basic form, marketing communications are a simple game of catch. The game starts with a marketer throwing a message to a prospective buyer. The prospective buyer catches the message and throws his or her message back. That message could be, I’m interested, I’m not interested, I’m confused, or Tell me more. As long as you are communicating there is an opportunity to get to a mutually beneficial transaction.

But far too often marketers throw their messages the way Magnus threw the football. Hard. Fast. High. Marketers are focused on their own perspective. In their eagerness to drive results (ROI) they shout what they think is important. They don’t think enough about the person at the other end of the message. Thus, their message sails way over the head of the intended recipient. And there is no reply at all.

Before you throw your next message: 

  1. Know who you are throwing to.
  2. Understand how they like to catch.
  3. Account for the distance.
  4. Throw something catchable.
  5. Observe what happens when you throw your message, and recalibrate accordingly.
  6. Prepare to receive the message that gets tossed back to you.

Remember, communication is a two-way interaction. Account for your audience in everything you do. Make it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. When you do you’ll be surprised how many people will happily play catch with you.

If you found anything I threw your way useful, or think I am off target, please share a comment or subsrcibe to this blog so we can keep playing catch.

 

My little slice of Alabama’s championship season.

There are a lot of factors that go into developing The Perfect Agency. But the ultimate goal of creating such an ad agency is to create the right conditions to consistently generate great work that has a meaningful impact on the clients we serve.  Just before the college football season began this fall my team and I were working feverishly to bring a really exciting new campaign to life for UPS. The basic premise of the project was that college football has a tremendous economic impact on college football towns. So we profiled these great towns that often double in population thanks to the pilgrimages that occur on football Saturdays.

We talked to local businesses and they shared the opportunities and challenges associated with the swelling demands of game day. And I was proud to hear business owners declare that our client, UPS, played an instrumental role in enabling them to meet those demands.

Thanks to this campaign my football season started in Tuscaloosa, Alabama last August in 99 degree heat.  We spent two days covering the town, the school, the Crimson Tide football program and the local small businesses. I came away with a real affinity for the town, the beautiful campus, and the people.  I also developed an even deeper admiration for the championship caliber football program.  And since we brought a film crew with us I left with a video that summarized it all in about 60 seconds. And because my phone has a camera, I’ve included a few images from the experience below.

Congratulations to The University of Alabama on your fourth national championship in seven years.  And thanks for offering us such a great story to tell. Roll Tide. And roll the video.

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Me at the end of a very hot day. I was surprised to find they had hung my initials on the columns to welcome me.

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I beat Nick Saban in a heated game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

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Bear Bryant. The bird that tarnished his fedora was deported.

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If you’re ever in Tuscaloosa stop by Dreamland for some dreamy barbecue.

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And if the contacts start moving in your eyes football isn’t so simple.

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Let there be light. And Alabama football. And a flag. And maybe an umbrella.

It was hot. Not triple-digit hot. But close.
It was hot. Not triple-digit hot. But close.

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Turns out Alabama has had some success turning out quarterbacks. (Although doesn’t that building in Green Bay say that Don Hutson was a Center?)

 

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The Black Warrior River at sunrise. This photo may be upside down.

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You don’t want to hear me drone on about our drone.