Everyone wants to do their best.
We want to do our very best with our relationships and our jobs. We want to do the best with the roles and responsibilities that we’re given. We want to do the very best with our most precious resource, time.
But, that’s not always enough.
As W. Edwards Denning once said:
It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot these days, and most definitely in the last few years since moving out here to San Francisco.
If one thing’s for sure, there are a lot of smart people who live in these parts and there are a lot of people who are trying to do their best.
But if they, like we, do not know exactly what we’re supposed to be doing our best on, then, we’re not actually doing the very best.
I think about some of my previous career decisions that have gone poorly and certainly some of the jobs that I said “Yes” to that I really shouldn’t have; these were essentially this idea in play.
Another example might also be trying to play basketball compared to playing soccer and how I was naturally gifted with better leg control than hand-arm coordination. If I, for whatever reason decided on “doing my best” at basketball then I’d really be missing out on executing against a much better thing.
We must know and then do, not just do and hope that we’re aiming in the right direction. This isn’t an easy area to grow in but it’s necessary so that we might find more success in the right things.
Easier said than done.