When I was in college I had a computer science professor who offered our class this advice:
If you want to succeed, don’t worry about creating the next big thing or being a stand-out performer, just do your job right.
I’ve found this to be true time and time again. Whether doing fundraising, communications, supervision, operations, or whatever, attending to the fundamental elements of the work carries 95% (or more) of the impact. When I meet with people as part of our direct assistance service, I often find that reminding them of the basics addresses the bulk of their concerns.
You even see this at work with the stand out performers. They realistically assess their workload, get things done on time and to specification, and communicate clearly through the process. They’re honest and treat others with respect. They master the basics.
The fundamental elements of a job are like the trunk of a tree. Secure the core and you’ll branch out from there.