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Best Work

It is the eve of our robotics exhibition and there is a LOT that the Eagles need to get done before they can show what they've learned. They've hit some obstacles while building the robot and they have started to lose focus and change their desired outcomes rather than changing their game plan to achieve their original goals. This morning I decided to do our morning launch discussion around the idea of finishing well. I simply asked them, "What is the benefit to finishing a project to the best of your ability?"

The initial responses were things like "Sometimes you can win prizes" or "You can stop doing that thing" (I got a good laugh at that one because I've been on a few projects where this felt like the greatest reward). After a few surface answers, they started getting into deeper benefits like "You feel more accomplished" and "It can inspire other people". I ran with the other people part. "What else does it do for other people when they see you finish a project well?". They sat on this question for a while, thinking more than they had to for the previous questions, but pretty soon someone blurted out "They trust you more".

Guide: "What makes them trust you?"

Eagle:"Because they know that you can do that thing for them"

Guide: "Proof of work! Let's say you were hiring someone for your company. What does your company do?"

Eagle:"We sell school supplies!"

Guide: "Done! Lets say you are looking at 3 people but you could only hire one of them. One of them worked at a pencil factory and says he likes to read about the history of pencils. The second candidate worked at a robotics lab, but he designed and built a new kind of pencil that never goes dull in his free time. The third guy works at a restaurant and makes food. Who would you hire?"

Eagle:"Number one! He knows a LOT about school supplies because he worked with them and has read a lot of books"

Guide: "How do YOU know that HE knows a lot about those things?"

(long pause)

Eagle:"...Well actually, I think the second one might be better, because he actually made a pencil"

Guide:"How do you know that the second candidate knows what they are talking about?"

Eagle:"Because he made school suppliers, he made a pencil"

Guide"In the studio, how do we show that we can do something?"

Eagle:"We can earn badges!"

Eagle:"We have exhibitions!"

I'm hoping our conversation this morning brings a little bit of focus back after our long break and helps them see the importance of striving to achieve their goals rather than just lowering their standards to match what they accomplished. It's hard to break that habit of complacency and "good enough" and build a habit of continual growth and improvement, but that is what we are here to do!

First Attempt: "Is this my best work?"

Next attempts: "Is this better than my previous work?"

As quality builds and starts to Plateau: "How does it compare to a world-class example?"

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