Do Your Job!

Coach Bill Belichick has made the phrase, "do your job" famous. It is a key component to his coaching philosophy and has helped his teams have lots of success. So what does the phrase, "do your job" fully mean, and how can coaches adopt this teaching to help their team?

"Doing your job" is somewhat self-explanatory. It means to do your job, obviously. But there's more to it. It means to focus just on executing your job as best as you can. It is another way of saying focus on the process, or focus only on the things you can control, and do your best no matter what the score is. It is taking personal responsibility and ownership for your role on the team. It is also the motivation to perform your duty to help your team and the people who depend on you.

But there is another aspect to this phrase that is beneficial. Doing your job means to just focus on your assignments, and not try to interfere with other people's assignments. It means each player fills their specific role, does their job as best as they can, and trusts that their teammates will also do their job as best as they can. This attitude creates a highly efficient division of labor, where each task/role is mastered by the individual in charge of it. This helps maximize the whole, which is the sum of the mastered parts/assignments/roles.

However, like almost every thing in life, the "do your job" philosophy has its limits and needs to be balanced out with other attitudes and behaviors. There are times when you shouldn't just focus on your job. You can't always have blinders on and focus exclusively on your assignments. Sometimes you do need to look around, step out of your lane, and help other people do their job. Part of your job is to be a leader.

Ideally every player would do their job well, and there would be no need take your focus off of your assignments to help other people with their assignments. But this rarely is the case. Many times you need to be a leader and help your teammates do their job. You can't just think, "I'm doing my job fine. I don't care if my teammates aren't doing their job well. That's not my fault." As a leader, you need to take more ownership of the team's overall performance and help your teammates do their job better when needed. 

This of course, requires balance. You can't worry so much about your teammate's job that you lose focus on your job and perform your job worse. You need to know when to switch your focus from your responsibilities to your teammates' responsibilities, and you have to do it in a way that doesn't hurt your own performance.

By understanding the full meaning and nuances of the "do your job" philosophy, you can better apply it!