“You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else.”
Many of us have heard the saying that someone is “the jack of all trades.” The catch is that this is not all that is to this statement. It actually goes “the jack of all trades and the master of none.” That last part kinda changes what seemed to be a compliment in the beginning actually is more of a knock at the person. So what does it mean actually? It describes a person who can do many different types of work but who is not necessarily very competent at any of them. Very harsh if you ask me but this along with CEO of Apple Tim Cook’s quote for today reminds us that most times in life focusing on less actually produces more in the long run.
Our moral compass is supposed to be our guide through life. But how can it be our guide if we have ourselves going in so many directions at once? Let’s face it. As much as we would want to both personally and professionally to be an expert in everything and focus on being the best with everything, the reality is this dream is a rather lofty one that is very unlikely to ever be fully achieved. We all have strengths and we all have limitations. There are no ifs or ands about it. Its a fact. This doesn’t mean we cannot continuously improve in each but the likelihood of being proficient across the board is like never missing a foul shot in basketball-never going to happen. However, that does not mean you give up on trying though.
I found this out as an Assistant Principal. I realized, especially my second time around currently, that I cannot be a master of everything because the amount of responsibilities I have that fall under the “as other duties assigned” category is quire an expansive list. Whoever first added that to job descriptions is a pure genius because this list can be limitless. Anyways…the point is I realized that the things that were my limitations were things I needed to rely on others like my instructional coaches, data entry, bookkeeper, secretary or ESE teachers just to name a few. In order to make the best decisions possible for our students, teachers and the school community I need to rely on their expertise as certain situations arise that fall into their wheelhouse so to speak. I have no problem being vulnerable because I know I cannot be the master of everything and our school team relies on each others strengths and it is what makes the culture of our team a success.
When we become more dedicated and take more time on our focus areas those strengths become even stronger and sometimes unknowingly strengthens those areas that are our limitations. This then becomes a win-win. I also like to think that when we know what our key areas of focus should be we have a better understanding of who we are, what makes us tick, what allows us to be more atune with our social awareness skills while enhancing our relationships along the way through making good, quality decisions. That in essence solidifies each of the five areas of Social Emotional Learning as wells as our moral compass. So let’s focus small in order to win big in life.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?