Do One Thing and Do It Well
The mantra of my parents’ generation was to do one thing and do it well. And then just keep doing it. Perhaps it is why so many in their generation stayed in one profession, like banking or postal services, for their entire career. While they might have casually or abruptly moved from one company to another, the general focus remained much of the same.
Welcome to the Gen X and Y era, where the “do one thing well” gets, well, a bit old. In public education, we may stick with the commitment to working in school districts, but the world has become our oyster, and movement is much more common than in past decades. We move from school to school, district to district, looking for the right fit, seeking out the next challenge, finding ourselves along the way and doing more, more, more.
I know I’m not alone in this search. Most of my friends have done the same. Perhaps it is job satisfaction that we look at a bit differently – if the environment isn’t meeting our needs, off we go. It’s not that we are quitters, but we do have two feet and when we are beat down or when the culture simply isn’t a fit for who we are as leaders, it does make sense to make a change.
The doing one thing well simply doesn’t work for our current generations. We want to grow and thrive, learn and expand our skills. This is partly why we are more mobile and look beyond the pastures that surround our work places, as the opportunity to really thrive often means expanding our skills. And here is where gender differences also come into play.