Just One Thing


Do you feel deluged with data every day? Overwhelmed with emails, texts, posts and pings? How do you sift through it? How do you make sense of it all?

Often I’ll start reading through a new piece of research, trying to take it all in, absorb it and synthesize it. But in the end it seems that nothing truly stands out.

The alternate approach works better. What is it? It’s being on the lookout for the one key takeaway from whatever it is I’m reading. Or doing. Or observing.

What’s the headline? What’s the tweet? What’s the snap? What’s the one thing I’d share with someone else?

Daniel Pink made this easy in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. It has a Twitter summary – “Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose.”

One of my great bosses, Leigh Anne Nanci, had the perfect mantra for going to professional conferences. Instead of trying to remember and act on everything, she advised identifying the one change you’d make as a result of attending.

And in the now-classic film City Slickers, there’s the moment when Jack Palance tells Billy Crystal that the secret to life is “just one thing.” And we each have to figure it out ourselves.

What’s your one thing?

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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