My first job out of college was my dream job. It was a 6-month-stint at Facebook. A story that—little did I know at the time—would shift my career into hyperdrive faster than any early-twenty-something could have anticipated.
During that stint, I constantly heard a phrase that is now a core foundation to all of my work:
There were big white posters with big red letters scattered around the office with phrases like this:
Years later, I had the chance to help build a company culture through the marketing arm of an IT software firm; naturally I wanted to incorporate these 100mph values. I designed and printed the posters from memory, plastering them down the halls of the office. This was during the challenge of launching a 300+ attendee user conference from scratch in under 4 months, so my work felt as insanely fast as it did back in those pre-IPO Facebook days.
There was a massive, glaring problem this time around, however: the majority of managers and colleagues were confused over their meaning. It gave them hostile and negative connotations. It wasn’t until after the conference was over (and successful), that it made more sense to them. It also became a clear example to me on the difference between A-Players and B-Players.
For an A-Player, Everyday is a Week symbolizes the pace, the frenzy, and the flexibility one needs to achieve great work.
Everyday is a Week means starting your morning with a plan, an operating procedure, or whatever your manager told you how you needed to do things. By noon, you’re completely rethinking if that plan makes any sense—and that same manager agrees. By the end of the day, everything is thrown out the window. By the time you go to sleep, your 8am arrival felt like something you experienced a week ago.
Everyday is a Week means that you and your team accomplish more in a single day than an entire company can achieve in a week. That’s an A-Player pace. That’s an A-Player group of people.
When building companies or working on challenging new projects, it can feel like total chaos, and you have to constantly consider that you might be wrong, all the time. If you’re flexible, aware of the stress, and have other A-Players around you, there will be enough mental resources available to solve the objectives necessary to overcome and succeed at breakneck speed.
Those posters plastered across the halls of that software company didn’t make sense to most employees until I explained them in detail. Frustratingly still, many colleagues and managers didn’t like the way it sounded.
To them, it meant a perpetual Case of the Mondays. The slough through another endless week of monotonous procedure, all in one day.
If you love what you do, love the challenges you face, and are equally challenged by the people in the same room, you will all accomplish things that are presented in front of you before the close of business each and every day.
You will come in at 9am and blink a few times; then it’s lunch time. Blink a few more times—it’s now 5pm.
The day moves so fast because you’re so insanely productive and are intensely motivated by everyone around you. Work will never seem burdensome and a drain of the day. That's because everyone around you is an A-Player too. That’s what Everyday is a Week means.
B-Players never understand that because they’re too busy staring at the clock waiting for 5pm to hit instead of pushing themselves to accomplish what was thought as impossible at 9am.
Whenever you hear a colleague or a manager say things like “That’s just the way things are done” or “That’s not in my job description,” that means they don’t understand the meaning behind doing great work. They are only about going through the motions, and will never achieve truly A-Player work. If left unchallenged, they will never become an A-Player at all.