Today we have a guest editorial as Steve is away at SQL Intersection.
As I’m writing this I’m wondering what sentiment the title will evoke – cynicism, curiosity, agreement? It’s a phrase that too often means going above and beyond for longer than is rational in an effort to get to some arbitrary (or at least it seems that way) goal. Yet it’s also something that we say about our best people as a point of pride, and something I imagine many of say about ourselves as well.
I was thinking about this recently because my nephew was doing some weekend work for me and by the end of the day was tired, really tired. Not because I worked him hard (I did) but because he had been at work until midnight the day before. He had told his manager he would have something done by the end of the day and as such things go, it turned out to be a lot more work than it had seemed. At 5 pm on Friday he was just over half way done. Surely he could have explained why the work was taking longer, but instead he chose to keep working until it was done. Not because it was life or death, not because he would be fired if he didn’t get it done, but because he said he would get it done.
Maybe – hopefully – he earned some extra respect from his manager. Maybe – probably – he’ll look a little bit harder or dig a little big deeper before making a commitment the next time. Certainly he remained true to his values.
It’s not always as easy as working harder and it’s not always as simple as doing whatever it takes, I know that, something an IT career will teach you in a hurry. But sometimes it is, and nothing stands out more than someone who doesn’t get it done when that time arrives.