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What tells one cell to do or become one thing while another cell does or becomes something else?

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If you are referring to the development of the human body while in the womb, it would be the Hox Gene.
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Cytokines, chemokines, and general hormones are the cell messaging mechanisms in higher organisms. Transcription factors and gene expression products play big roles, too.
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How does one cell become a brain cell and amother a skin cell?

It's all down to the way 'stem cells' are formed. Stem cells can become any cell in the body - it's down to genetics and demand as to which they mature into.
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How can one cell become a chick?

By influence of the environment (the uterus, and hormones), the fertilized ovum (single cell) replicates its genetic content and divides, resulting in two cells. These two cel