When I was an MBA student at Boston University, I had an interesting conversation with my career counselor. We were discussing my strengths and job interests, and I described the positions I’d previously held. The common thread in all of them was that I had basically found jobs where my employers needed someone who could jump into a role, work without a lot of guidance, and get stuff done. The career counselor said, “Oh, GSD!” I wasn’t sure what she meant, so she explained, “getting shit done.”
It’s fun to use profanity in professional situations, but there’s also value in terminology that is so clearly descriptive. Since this is apparently a real term that is popping up in the world of corporate recruiting, I’m going to spill some digital ink on this blog attempting to more clearly define what it means.
To clarify, I’m not interested in personal productivity. There’s a whole movement around getting things done, which is mainly about using time efficiently, not procrastinating, staying on top of to-do lists, etc.
For me, GSD is an action-oriented approach to problem solving. It’s working under fluid conditions with imperfect information. It’s frequently evaluating where you are and course-correcting to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. It’s making decisions even when you don’t know what you’re doing, because you’re confident you can figure it out as you go.
I’m sure this definition will evolve over time, and I’m excited to use this platform to shine a little more light on the subject.
(If you like the button in the image above, you can buy it at the Geek Details Etsy shop.)