Stay in Your Lane

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The headline – “I Was Prince’s Private Chef” – sucked me in, like so many other productivity-killing internet clicks had before. What I was hoping to learn (Prince and I like the same food!), I’m not quite sure, but it turns out an important business tip was on the menu.

The chef, Margaret Wetzler, shares the story of the Purple One requesting a chocolate fountain. “When I asked where to put it, he looked at me, waited a beat, and said, ‘I do the music.'”

Prince-MainA diva comment? Absolutely, but also one to remind business people about understanding their true value. In a never-ending quest to satisfy others, too many people dilute the individual gifts they could be offering in an attempt to bring all things to all people. As author Stephen R. Covey wrote, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Ambition and stretching beyond traditional comfort zones are admirable,┬ámostly positive business traits, but not when they cause big picture focus to be lost. There’s a reason accountants don’t also offer catering services, even if it might please a particular client, just as employees shouldn’t try to solve every department’s problems in an effort to be a “team player.”

Better to have more impact in less places than be a jack of all trades and master of none.

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