Being Good at Everything…or One Thing

Quite a bit has been written about Tiger Woods winning this year’s US Open with a broken leg and gimpy knee. Singular focus, knowing what it takes to win consistently and for decades, pushing through pain, and all the other descriptors of Woods fall short of watching the video below and seeing the delight and joy of his win.

I’m struck daily by my being a jack-of-all-trades and master of but a few….and no Tiger Woods of anything. One of my strengths is ‘input’ and another is ‘learning’ so the moment I master something, I am absolutely driven to move on to learn something new. It’s at the heart of my value and drives my consulting practice, but it also holds me back from that singular focus on one thing which makes someone a Tiger Woods of their specialty.

Few of us choose one thing and put all of our energy and effort behind it and that’s what it takes to be the best at something. I’ve seen it over-n-over-n-over again from music, to writing, to podcasting, to swimming, to running, to golf. Those who are so passionate about something that they devote ALL of their energy, effort and drive to it are the ones who emerge as the best.

Think about that as you beat yourself up at not being as good as the next guy or gal who seems to be a champion at some given thing. You’ll notice that they’re deficient elsewhere since they are hyperfocusing on that one thing to the exclusion of most other pursuits.

Consider that as well when you’re moving forward in a new job, career or are embarking on a new initiative or project. If it’s important enough to you and aligns with your values, purpose and strengths, then throw yourself completely into it and dedicate yourself to being the best.


  1. JeremyS on June 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Great post, Steve. I couldn’t say, “the moment I master something, I am absolutely driven to move on to learn something new” better. I struggle with it, though. It makes it hard for me to figure out a) if I’m getting enough out of myself, reaching my potential and b) how to figure out where I should be going. I love learning, I pick things up quickly, but what should I learn next? It’s tough…

  2. jd stein on June 28, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I am also a master something and then move on type of person. A book I recently read that does a great job exploring this trait is Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. It’s available on Kindle. Margaret Lobenstine’s The Renaissance Soul also discusses the trait at length.

  3. Working with People You Can't Be With on July 4, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Working with People You Can’t Be With Daily Report (July 4, 2008)

    The People Part of Working with People You Can’t Be With Use TableTopics to stimulate ‘little’ conversations to build rapport and learn about distributed team members. “One of the challenges with distributed teams is that you never have the ‘little’

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Posts by Category

Archives (2004 – Present)

Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.