That’s the time I had to hit—exactly—every week for fifteen years.
27:55. Not a second more. Not a second less. 27:55.
Welcome to the world of television production, where the clock is your master. You’re always aware of it. You go on the air at 11:30pm, every Saturday, whether you’re ready or not. Whether you feel like it or not. And, exactly twenty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds later, you fade to black. Every week.
That’s a pretty startling statistic. Especially when you consider how important change is. I mean, we all acknowledge this, right? There aren’t many organizations out there saying, “You know what we need to do? We need to maintain the status quo, and we need to do it now!”
Every breakthrough involves change. Every innovation involves change. Every new product, policy, or service that moves you ahead of the competition involves change.
This morning I flew from Seattle to Chicago for a speaking engagement. During the course of that trip, these three things happened:
The 40-ish-year-old gentleman sitting behind me on the plane, while seemingly perfectly healthy in all other respects, was apparently unable to get into or out of his seat without the semi-violent assistance of the back of my seat.
The woman immediately in front of me on the down escalator, upon stepping off said escalator, just stood there lost in thought—unaware, ...
Producing great results consistently is hard. Producing great results consistently—and under pressure—is harder. It takes a great deal of confidence to pull it off successfully.
But confidence, it turns out, is only half of the equation.
In a previous article, I talked about the importance of confidence when producing under pressure. And it’s true. Confidence is a vital attribute when you’re leading a team (even if that team has only one member—you) through a high-pressure situation.
Do you regularly find yourself in high-pressure situations? If you’re a leader (or a lion tamer), the answer is probably yes. And if that’s true, then it’s also true that you’re expected to produce under these high-pressure situations, right? In fact, that expectation to produce only adds to the pressure!
And that actually increases the chance that you’ll choke.
So how do you do it? How do you keep from choking in the big moments—the ones that really count?
They are the heroes, the icons, the legends. They are the leaders in sports, science, and business who “rise to the occasion.” The ones who “do their best work under pressure.” People write books and make movies about these singular luminaries.
The only problem is that it’s not true.
Despite what we’d like to believe (because it makes for a great story), people do not “rise to the occasion.” “Rising to the occasion” implies that some people do their best work under ...
Wimps don’t like pressure, and leadership is all about pressure. When I was leading my TV team to over 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings, there wasn’t a single week where I didn’t feel pressure—sometimes extreme pressure!