Fall is on the horizon. This only means one thing: movie theatres are back in the rotation for our potential family outings. Last Monday after school it was an unusually rainy, cold day, so I surprised the kids by picking them up and heading to the movies – one of our favorite, favorite things to do. Our first movie of the new season was “When the Game Stands Tall.” This film is based on the true story of the De La Salle Spartans, a high school football team from northern California. It is a moving plot about a team that didn't lose a game, not one single game, for 12 years from the early '90s to the early 2000s. They ran their record to 151-0. This is not just another movie about football; it tells about a mission to lead boys into manhood and prep them to carry the burdens of the society into which they soon will enter.
The foundation of the movie is Coach Bob Ladouceur’s unique coaching process, which he called “The Perfect Effort.”“Coaching is about human performance and how to get each player to realize their potential through the actualization of their individual talent,” Coach Lad once said. “While winning is important – it is why we play the game and keep score – the emphasis is on ʻthe process,ʼ what each player must do that in aggregate leads to victory. The formula for success in team sports is simple. The implementation of that formula is complex and is the art of human performance.”
“The game stands tall when we display the conduct and actions that not only make our life more productive but also improve our community,” he added movingly.
The Perfect Effort is more about bringing your “A” heart with your “A” game. It is about unwavering perseverance and not being defined by a loss.
Whether it is a football team, an office team, a marketing team, etc., The Perfect Effort process applies wherever you go. The singular success of a 151-0 record was created not because the De La Salle Spartans spent more hours in the gym than any other team. It was not because they fought harder than any other team. The success came from being very clear on what their individual roles were, how to integrate with each member on the team, and the impact of the whole of the process and the team organization – all with integrity and collaboration in mind, never focused on the individual. It was always about The Perfect Effort within the core values of the team first and foremost.
What I love most about movies is how they can deliver powerful messages in 120 minutes that are so relevant to our day-to-day lives. They can break through even if you’ve heard the same messages before, i.e. LWP with our unending stand for embracing of process with a team-centric approach to reaching the goal. Sometimes, most times, it takes a light, fun environment to drive the message across the goal line.
Molly L. Hall, Co-Founder, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC, and author of Don’t Be a Yes Chick: How to Stop Babysitting Your Boss, Transform Your Job and Work with a Dream Team Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Spirit in the Process.