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Rolling Up Our Sleeves: How 'Getting Things Done' Shapes Our Careers

In an era characterized by rapid results and jargon-heavy dialogues, the pure, straightforward mantra of "Get stuff done" often takes a back seat. Yet, this notion, as recently discussed in an insightful interview with former U.S. President Barack Obama by Daniel Roth, LinkedIn's Editor in Chief and Vice President, holds the key to transforming our professional trajectories.

Drawing Wisdom from a Leader: The Obama-Roth Exchange

Daniel Roth, in his pursuit of distilling wisdom from global leaders, sought answers from Obama about the secret to building a successful career. The former President's response was as impactful as it was uncomplicated: "Just learn how to get stuff done."

From Identifying Problems to Implementing Solutions

In Obama's words, "I've seen at every level people who are very good at describing problems...but what I'm always looking for is no matter how big or small the problem... somebody who says, 'let me take care of that'."

His emphasis on a 'get-stuff-done' mentality underscores the importance of initiative, resilience, and ownership in our work culture.

The shift from discussing issues to executing solutions, from highlighting a problem to owning and resolving it, provides us with valuable tools for success in our careers.

Click on the pic to watch the great interview, specifically from min 11:50

(source: LinkedIn)

Harnessing the 'Get-Stuff-Done' Ethos: A Roadmap

  1. Nurturing a Solution-Focused Approach: Transforming from mere problem identifiers to problem solvers sets us apart from the crowd. To distinguish ourselves, we need to move beyond pointing out issues and start proposing and implementing effective solutions.

  2. Cultivating Proactivity: Regardless of their position, proactive individuals display a sense of ownership and drive that does not go unnoticed. It's not about the rank one holds but the mindset one upholds.

  3. Delivering Value as a Priority: A cornerstone of professional success lies in value delivery — this might sometimes require us to roll up our sleeves and dive into tasks. Prioritizing results over empty promises or eloquent reports can make you stand out.

  4. Embodying Patience: In our world of instant gratification, patience is a potent tool. Progress might not always be immediate, but consistent performance and a 'get-stuff-done' attitude will eventually command attention.

'Get-Stuff-Done': Making It Happen in Everyday Careers Let's delve deeper into how we can put this 'get-stuff-done' philosophy into action by considering three personas: a junior back-end developer, a UI/UX professional, and a digital marketing intern.

  1. Junior Back-End Developer: As a junior back-end developer, it's easy to get caught up in the complexity of code and server-side operations. Adopting the 'get-stuff-done' attitude means diving deep into the problems, identifying the root causes, and proactively proposing solutions. It could involve optimizing an existing database query for better performance or taking the initiative to automate repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up the team for more significant projects.

  2. UI/UX Professional: For a UI/UX professional, 'getting stuff done' could mean proactively researching the latest design trends or user behavior patterns and implementing them in ongoing projects. It's about moving from simply creating aesthetically pleasing interfaces to designing experiences that enhance user interaction and satisfaction. This approach might mean volunteering to conduct additional user research or testing to refine the interface design based on real user feedback.

  3. Digital Marketing Intern: As a digital marketing intern, adopting the 'get-stuff-done' mindset may involve going beyond assigned tasks. For instance, instead of just compiling social media analytics, why not also propose actionable insights from the data? This could include identifying successful content, suggesting new strategies for user engagement, or spotting patterns that could inform future campaigns.

In essence, the 'get-stuff-done' philosophy underscores the importance of moving from passive problem identification to active problem resolution. By going the extra mile, showing proactivity, and adding value beyond our specified roles, we can significantly amplify our professional growth and success. In Obama's words, "You're killing it. Because people will notice, 'Oh, that's somebody who can get something done.'" Let's thrive, Inbal Israeli Gaffa Co-Founder & CEO InBe Tech

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