Saw Front Nixon the other night and really enjoyed it. Here’s what I found interesting about it. For David Frost, it wasn’t about actually talking about what Nixon had done, it was that interviewing him would be watched by potentially millions. This “fame” is what Frost was after, what he pursued relentlessly. His goal was to get the interview on TV (ie. finding the sponsors to do it). He didn’t focus too much on the interview itself until it was going badly. In the movie, there’s a pivotal scene that kicks Frost into work mode where he studies and prepares for the interview that ends up getting Nixon to “confess.” The interview had lasting significance because of what Frost got Nixon to admit. It wasn’t just that it was on TV, it was what was said in the interview. In order to get what he really wanted, Frost had to go beyond what he was initially prepared to do. He had no problem begging sponsors (he did that quite well – very charming) – he had no intention of prepping for the interview in any substantive way, but when he pushed himself (or got pushed) and did the work, the interview became way bigger than he could have imagined.
I really believe we should focus where our gifts are, but sometimes we use that as an excuse to only do work that we want to do. Sometimes we need to go beyond what we thought we would have to do to accomplish a vision or a goal. Sometimes we need to be pushed.