This is the mantra of the New England Patriots. The idea is simple. If everyone commits to understanding what your role is, focusing on doing that job well, and trusting your teammates to do theirs, the team – and everyone on that team – will win. The emphasis is not on being the best person ON the team but being the best person FOR the team.
In life, you could say the equivalent of winning the Super Bowl is achieving the American Dream. The difference is that we have come to think of the American Dream as an individual sport instead of the team effort it really is.
So what does it mean to “Do Your Job” if we want everyone to win the American Dream?
For a parent or a teacher, your role may seem pretty clear. But what about a business leader, celebrity, politician or citizen?
In general, we do a pretty good job pointing fingers at our “teammates” for not doing their job. We meddle or freelance and get “out of our position” because we don’t trust them.
It’s why parents constantly criticize teachers. Teachers criticize parents. Citizens don’t vote but complain about their elected leaders.
We also focus on trying to be the “best in the world” instead of being the best “for the world.”
This can explain why business leaders measure success by how much money their companies make not how happy they make their workers. See a very telling article on the World Economic Forum here.
Or why politicians talk about how many elections they’ve won vs. how much effective legislation they’ve passed.
Or celebrities pride themselves on how much the content they make grosses vs. making sure that none of that content makes us feel gross if our kids watch it.
Doing Your Job is harder than it sounds. Focus and trust are in short supply these days. But if we all commit to doing both – in every role we play – America’s team will also make a comeback for the ages.