What Rockstar Scientists and Engineers Do Differently!

🌟The Hotwash Habit.

A “hotwash” ( or after action review) is a reflection exercise that you do immediately after an activity. It comes from the military and is now used in the crisis management community.

Rockstar scientists and engineers adopt it as a personal habit, and you should too.

Here’s how it works:

🎯After a project, presentation, or other activity you’ve spent some time preparing for, write down:

  1. What was the goal?
  2. What went well (that you want to repeat next time or transfer another activity)?
  3. What do you need to revisit (don’t repeat, improve, change)?

This is a simple but powerful exercise, especially for high achievers like you.


💡It helps high achievers appropriately judge the impact of their actions.
🔷High achievers typically don’t spend enough time acknowledging wins.
🔷We tend to just brush off accomplishments as luck, or give credit to external factors.
🔷We typically spend too much time focusing on failure.
🔷We often wallow in what went wrong and get into a cycle of beating ourselves up.

📢That is a recipe for Imposter Syndrome: If you don’t acknowledge your accomplishments, you will never feel like you are good enough to do the next new thing.

💎When you build the Hotwash Habit, you’ll objectively look at your actions in real time and realize that almost all of your efforts are a combination of things that went well and things that can be improved.

💡It puts you in a learning and continuous improvement mindset.

🔷When you constantly review your actions and think of ways to improve or transfer learnings you will start to find creative solutions to all sorts of problems.
🔷You will quickly differentiate yourself from the other 99% of people who just walk around in a fog or blame other people for everything.

💡If you are a leader, implement this habit with your team. Teach them that your organization is a learning organization. Be sure to include all stakeholders.

❓ If you’re wondering why it’s called a hotwash, you can get the backstory here:

P.S. Full disclosure, that is my kid’s guitar. He informed me right before I took that picture that I had been holding it wrong!🤣