World class or bust

The other day I was in a Zoom break-out room with a few other podcasters. I was talking about how for 2021 I’m focusing on doing in-person interviews. How being a slave to a weekly schedule was (is, would continue to be,) putting pressure on creating podcast episodes. Most podcasters—well, every single one that I know of, but there must be some out there who aren’t, so I’m writing “most”… Most podcasters are willing to (happy to?) record virtually as that enables them to stay on their weekly production schedules.

Aside: Everyone believes that regular production is critical for podcast success. I disagree. “What’s one important truth that most people would disagree with you about?” is a good question, and this is currently the best answer that I have.

There are millions of podcast shows and many more millions of episodes. I don’t want to make a single episode of Movers Mindset unless it has some particular value or is special in some way; The human race doesn’t need simply, “one more podcast episode.” I believe that in-person, with the right guest, and with me doing my best work I can co-create something of value to humanity.

And “do it every week” doesn’t figure into that formula at all.

(But some monetary support does figure in—if I can take a moment to hat-in-hand mention that supporting us on would be insanely helpful.)

Then today I stumbled over this post:

And so I’m wondering:

The idea of trying to do something at a world-class-or-bust level is a fairly new one for me. I have lots of hobbies and mostly I don’t care about being world class. But I do care about the Movers Mindset podcast being world class.

Do you have anything you’re intentionally pushing to that level?

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I love Hugh’s stuff but this is one too far.

Here’s a little challenge for you. Fill in the blank using words or phrases that have some basis on reality. I think you could spend all day on this once the ball gets rolling so no more than 15

“I care about about the Movers Mindset podcast being: __________”


“I care about about the Movers Mindset podcast _______ being: __________”

Pick one specific aspect, can be anything, preferably something anyone could point a finger at. For example “audience”, “audio”, “guests”, then do no more than 15.

World class is bubble gum, fill, fluff, meaningless. More importantly, it doesn’t guide you or your team toward something. Bonus points for having everyone in the team play along.

What bubbles up? What’s surprising? What’s completely non-surprising? What are the low-hanging fruits? What slow drop systems can be put in place now for long term success?

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We clearly have different ideas in mind for what we mean by “world class.” Here’s what I mean:

Being of the highest caliber [in the world].

I admit that identifying which instances in some domain are considered “world-class” is going to be subjective. But here are some excluding metrics I apply:

Does the instance contain errors? …or demonstrate lack of understanding of the domain? A world-class instance of something wouldn’t have those flaws. (But see my ‘artistic’ comment in my “including metrics” below.) Is the instance insensitive, malicious, or outright exploitive? (I don’t believe inherently evil things should be able to be considered “world-class.”)

And some including metrics I apply are:

Artistic expression? (pushing the bounds of what would usually be considered right/wrong for the type of thing) History, or arc, of work by the creator(s)? Cross-connections within the domain? (world-class things in a domain should be competing [if that’s the sort of domain] or pivoting off each other etc.)

…I think I could go on (but don’t have the time today.) But my point being: when I say “world-class” I definitely have a clear (albeit complex) meaning.

This was startling difficult— so difficult, I’ve still not succeeded. So I’ll unpack some of my thinking to see if I’m off-track from how you were imagining the exercise would teach me:

"I care about [it] being ____ " and of course my first thought was “world-class.” But that’s circular and unhelpful in this discussion. So I flipped to listing metrics…

“downloaded [a lot]”, “popular”, “shared [on social or whatever”, “sustainable [I can keep making more episodes]”, . . . and all of these are things about which I do NOT care.

This led me to thinking: I feel like I should be able to fill in something there. I do care— I say I care [here, elsewhere, etc], I believe I care— SoI should be able to complete a sentence such as:

"I care about [it] being ___ "

And then other phrases started to come up:

I care about it being a platform; that it gives people who wouldn’t otherwise be heard, but who I feel should be heard, a voice. (eg, 081. Andrew Suseno: Ancestors, Parcon Resilience, and racism )

I care about it being able to create a space for people to talk about things they need to talk about. (eg, 056. Charlotte Miles: Motivation, emotional recovery, and purpose )

I care about it being a space to talk about things that aren’t covered elsewhere. (eg, 076. US Parkour Association (part 4 of 4): Competition, certification, and a request )

I care about it enabling me to try to share with others what I’ve learned. (eg, 070. Craig Constantine: Discovery, reflection, and efficacy )

I became surprisingly emotional, and quite proud, when I started looking up those examples. I realized there were several more for each of those. And I think I might be able to come up with a few more, “I care…” statements, but I’m out of time for today.

All of which brings me back, even more firmly, to believing I care about Movers Mindset* being world class.

* Here, I dropped the “podcast” word on purpose. Today, the MM project is mostly a podcast, but also this Forum, and there are other parts that I’ve never had the resources to create.

PS: I think you (Darin, and anyone reading through this) are really going to enjoy episode 100. :slight_smile:

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Hey world! Unrelated, to what Darin and I are discussing…

HOLY COW! Does @melissa do an insanely awesome job writing episode titles or what!??!

Huzzah, right on, thanks for sharing where you are coming from.

My intent was merely to prompt digging into something that had been summed up (by Hugh) a little too succinctly. World-class could just as easily be a goal, a competition, or a state of being. I believe the ventures, human or otherwise, that we do want “world class or bust” are constantly in need of assessment to get (or stay) there. We ought to have clarity lest we wander.

Thank you for the reminder to myself as well.

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