Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

On December 3, 2022, my Purdue Boilermakers got to play in the Big Ten Football Championship.

They lost to Michigan, 22-36.

But, really? They won. To me, it felt like a moral victory just to be there. And to score 22 points and to also hold the undefeated Michigan Wolverines to just 36 points? That’s a win-win.

Needless to say, it was “Game Night” in the Hamstra household. In my mind, our whole family was watching the big game, cheering out loud, and enjoying the same pizza and wings just as much as me.

In a big venue like this, all eyes are on every move.

Throughout the game, there were some plays that seemed to happen at lightning speed. These plays required the officials to make split-second decisions, thus altering outcomes for better or for worse.

These were the kinds of instant judgments that were actually too close to call in the real-time moment. In fact, they were so close that they required a second, third, fourth, and tenth look. They required additional observations, perspectives, and opinions. They required advanced technology from 72 different camera angles just to make sure that the college student actually advanced the oblong pigskin all 3 centimeters, just as the officials said he did.

After all, the officials have to get it right. It’s their job!

When you have to make a quick decision, or when you have to react to something so fast in real time, it’s hard to know–in the moment–if you actually made the right call. Yet, deep down, you know that it’s important to get it right. And it’s worth investing in the processes of getting it right.

What if we had more opportunities like these to pause, to review, and to reflect on our quick decisions, impulsive actions, and judgmental reactions?

What if we invested and reinvested in the moments, in our processes, and in each other just to get it right?

For better or for worse, there’s going to be instant feedback for every close call.

Whether it’s your intuition, your conscience, your gut, or that voice deep down inside of you that longs to do the right thing, it’s not going away.

Even if it’s 110,000 screaming fans reacting to instant replays from 72 different camera angles (that you did not have in the real-time moment), it’s not going way.

Therefore, in this particular moment, and in this one play of one game…

The opportunity to get it right remains.

I can’t help but wonder…

How many more opportunities might there be to get it right in life stuff? Like the stuff that really matters? How many more moments, conversations, actions, and reactions might require a second look, an additional perspective, or an official review? How many more lived experiences might invite some deep reflection, a follow-up, or a circle-back?

In college football, the commentators (and the fans) usually complain about how long it takes the officials to review any given play of the game. After all, they said that the Official Review was not initially intended to drag on this long. It wasn’t meant to interrupt the flow or disrupt the momentum they said.

Yet, for one avid sports fan right here, I absolutely love seeing people working hard for a greater purpose, collaborating with intensity, and investing in the processes to get it right.

It’s worth it.

This post is under Official Review.

Blogger’s Note: This is Part V in: “Getting It Right,” a series based on one line from Brene Brown‘s Book: Dare to Lead. In The Armory on pages 75-76, Brown shifts Armored Leadership example 05: “Being a knower and being right” to the Daring Leadership response: “Being a learner and getting it right.” This one line has greatly impacted my work, life, and perspective in the last few years. End Blogger’s Note.

Previous Posts In This Series:

Getting It Right–Part IV: Circle Back

Getting It Right–Part III: Missing Information

Getting It Right–Part II: Growing Perspective

Getting It Right–Part I: Food for Thought

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