Knowledge Work Ninja

My son, sitting at attention at his dojang.

Be ambitious!
Be the best of the best!

Since my son started taking martial arts classes, he has repeated these words hundreds of times as a part of his dojang’s 13 point creed.

Thankfully, the message is finally starting to sink in.

For me.

Workplace leadership involves being ambitious and being the best of the best. But sometimes this can be daunting.

Like boiling the ocean.

Or getting all the  balls in the air and keeping them there.

How can I possibly accomplish everything I want to accomplish – and do it well?

But, when you break it down, being the best of the best involves doing many small things well. Take my son’s martial arts classes – he learns a handful of basic moves that are then combined into forms of ever increasing complexity. Only a little at a time. With intention.

For knowledge workers, our basic moves are – leading a conference call. Or writing an email. Or writing a decent project brief. Or collaborating globally.

Do I get these things right? Not always. But I am ambitious and I want to be the best of the best! When the grand plan is just too daunting, I can focus on the thing right in front of me. That email I have to write. The meeting I have to plan.  And continue to focus on the habits, activities and characteristics that lead to excellence.

For my next series of posts, look for some pointers on being the best of the best when it comes to small things. Those simple moves that add up to more complex strategies, initiatives, projects. Want to start a web redesign project or enterprise wide content strategy? It all starts with a conference call.

I’m always learning, so hopefully you, my readers, will have something to add.

written by 

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