The Art of Review

We review essays before we turn them in. We review goals and the progress made toward them. We review the standard of a movie. We review our last ten years and what's brought us to this point.

Review, as described by Merriam-Webster, includes formal inspection, critical evaluation, and retrospective view.

To most people, reviews are important. Some people won't go see a movie if it has bad reviews. Most papers don't do well if not reviewed. And absolutely everyone benefits from reviewing their life.

The thing about review is that without it, we tend to wander a little bit directionless and slowly veer off course without even knowing it. That's because review is much less about looking at what's passed than it is about making sure what you're doing is still heading where you intended for it to.

When working for progress, review is sometimes overlooked because we want to keep our eyes on the future and on progress. But by checking the rear view and side mirrors to make sure we're still in the center of our lane, we can be certain we're going where we want to.

So what does that look like for leaders? 

As you head your team, review is important for many reasons. Review allows you to see and commend good work. It points out areas for improvement. It gives a place to move on from. Looking back never hinders from moving forward, it simply focuses the view once you start moving. 

So how does this play out practically? 

Maybe it's a monthly meeting to review what's happened in the previous month. Often these kinds of meetings occur with the purpose of improving what's happening to make sure goals are met.

Maybe it's making sure each member is intentionally evaluating their contribution to ensure it is the best it can be. 

Maybe this looks like talking about performances and major events after they happen to glean the good and bad from them.

Review can look many ways, but it should be happening. Most CEOs and business people can understand this because it is a big part of the corporate world, and for good reason. Review is the oil that keeps the machine running.

Do you incorporate review with your team? If so, is it effective and how could it be more targeted? If not, I challenge you this week to think about how you can incorporate review into your team.

For the sake of moving forward, make sure you look back!

And hey, speaking of review, Benji just launched our 76th podcast! In it he reviews his five favorite lessons from the last 25 podcasts. It's a great review of what we've been up to here at Trailblazer. Check it out!