Ok, you work hard.
You’re in every morning on time, you only take a lunch break during the time you’re suppose to and you never leave early.
Now show me what you’ve shipped.
No, not the emails that you responded to promptly, not the insurance paperwork that you filed away or the suggestions you’ve made for this year’s staff retreat. Show me what you’ve shipped.
There’s a major difference between showing up and doing your job day after day and showing up and “shipping”. I first heard the term “shipping” during a Seth Godin conference that was held in Boston in the summer of 2010. I used to call it “getting SH*^T done”, but Seth’s term works as well.
When you ship, there is a measurable, tangible and sustainable change or difference that has taken place. It’s not answering the phone; it’s figuring out how to hire a student worker and establishing a student work force to answer the phone for you and your staff. It’s not licking envelopes and mailing summer programs out to athletes and patients; it’s creating a website that describes exercises and shows video clips that your athletes and patients can access while on vacation 24/7 so they can continue to do their exercises while they’re away from college. It’s not telling your athletes/patients that a lean source of protein at each meal is important; it’s creating a comprehensive nutrition plan that involves teaching them to shop, cook and budget properly so they can make educated decisions on their own when they’re away from the training table. Shipping is about change. Shipping is about pointing to your resume and proudly saying, “I did this!”
I never hired anyone because they fulfilled their job description. I only hire people that ship, and ship on time.
Art Horne is the Coordinator of Care and Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at Northeastern University, Boston MA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.