In a regular feature, Bloomberg Businessweek gathers a bunch of smart people to ‘fix’ a part of the economy, or a political or other situation. In the October 17 edition, the situation to be fixed was education. Obviously, the US education system (and from my experience living in other countries, the education system of any country) is contentious.
What interested me though was at the very end of the article, when one of the participants describes going to a KIPP school in Manhattan. The participant says to the co-founder, you’re doing a great job. The co-founder then takes him to a classroom and shows him 5 things the teacher (who by everyone’s standard is a great teacher) does wrong in five minutes.
For example, she hasn’t checked the writing that’s on the bulletin board for two days. The co-founder says: “What this job is about is a thousand of those things, not about some kind of silver bullet”. It’s true for all our careers. There isn’t some miraculous project or promotion that makes you a super star. It’s about getting results day after day, are day. It’s about planning your work, doing the work and then looking at it critically to see how you could have done better. It’s not about the little things in terms of your expenses, but in terms of making sure you do everything to the best of your ability and then pushing yourself to do better.