I recently watched the movie Facing the Giants and it made me rethink some things related to lean and six sigma.
For those not familiar with the movie, Facing the Giants is a Christian based movie about an American football coach who goes through some hard times – both personally and professionally – and then decides to hand it all over to God. This, in my opinion, is great advice but not the purpose of this article.
The Death Crawl
The scene that impacted me the most happened during one of the team’s practices. The team had been losing and seemed sure another loss was all but certain Friday night. The coach noticed this and decided to take the leader of the team, who was also displaying a very negative attitude, and make him do the death crawl.
To do the death crawl the person must carry a player on his back while moving forward on his hands and feet in a monkey like motion. The key to this exercise is the person with the heavy load cannot allow his knees to touch the ground.
Get the Blindfold
The coach, sensing his team was not living up to their potential, decided to make one small change to this particular death crawl. He placed a blindfold on the young man’s eyes so he could not tell how far he had gone.
The reason he did this was so the boy would not get to the “target” distance and stop or feel anxiety about how much further he had to go.
So the boy begins to crawl with another boy lying back to back. The coach is walking besides them as the team watches from the side. The boy is moving slowly but surely and the coach begins to offer encouragement. The excitement begins to increase.
Sensing the boy’s pain the coach increases his encouragement and challenges the boy to not quit. The coach has now really raised his voice. The boys on the sideline now have this puzzled look on their face.
Sensing the boy was now in excruciating pain the coach gets down on his hands and knees and begins to scream encouragement at the boy who finds a power deep inside him he didn’t know existed. I never cry in movies – never. But I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit to tearing up at this point.
As the boy cannot go anymore and falls to the ground the camera pans up and we see for the first time the boy crawled 100 yards which was much further than the target distance of 50 yards his coach gave him.
Moral of the Story
Initially I intended to write about how aiming for a target could limit us. But I just watched this clip again and realize the purpose of this scene goes far beyond hitting or exceeding a target.
Instead, this scene (and movie for that matter) is about giving everything you’ve got – everything – towards whatever it is you are called to do in life.
This means if you are a street sweeper you should aim to be the best street sweeper you can be and if you are a CEO you should aim to be the best CEO you can be.
I really hope you watch this 6 minute scene. You will need speakers or headphones to get the most benefit. Finally, if you are leader of people I cannot imagine a more motivational clip to show at your next team meeting.
I am on vacation this week so posting will be less than normal. But it’s my hope this article and video clip will inspire you to do something great this week.