Lessons from a Coaching Legend: Do Your Job

“Just be good at what you’re doing now and enjoy it, and things will take care of themselves…Take care of the job you’ve got now. If you’re good at what you’re doing now, they’ll find you” (Schembechler/Bacon, 18-19).

I think I hate this quote. Actually, I know I hate it. And I’ve heard a version of it so many damn times that I’ve earned the right never to want to hear it again. Still, I can’t escape it, and never could.

In high school, I remember fretting over the fast track times that competitors from other teams had run. Dad’s response: “Kelly, don’t worry about the damn times. Do your job and run to win each race. Let times take care of themselves.”

And after I complained about the long hours and tedious tasks I endured in jobs after college: “Quit complaining and take care of your work. Keep your mouth shut, outwork everyone else, and be so good they can’t help but give you more important things to do. That’s it.”

Or when I wanted to leave my Wall Street position for some not determined career: “Look, until you know what you want your next job to be, focus on doing the best you can at your current job and let the pieces fall into place.”

Hell, I can picture Bo and Dad together right now listening to me whine about writing or work or struggling to achieve so many goals perched atop the distant mountain. “Shut up and take care of your work,” they’re probably saying, laughing at my expense.

The lesson here is easy. Do your job and leave no doubt that you’ve done it the best you can.

Part one and part two of Lessons from a Coaching Legend are available here: Introduction and Respect and Equality.

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