Quote Worth Re-Quoting –
“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” ~ Roger Lewin
This was in my morning reading. This reminded me of my time as a telephone repairman and being raised on a farm.
When I worked as a telephone repairman in Ashdown, AR, I would repair a telephone and call in for my next assignment. After receiving the name, number, address, cable, pair and what was wrong, the dispatcher, Gene, would always close the conversation with, “Fix it and call me.”
Being raised on a farm, many times I had to “figure it out.” If I wanted my go kart or motorcycle to run, I had to “figure it out” or I would be walking or horseback. Dad taught me that a motor needed FFA in order to run. FFA was Fuel, Fire, and Air. As a telephone repairman I had some basic training on electricity and current flow. On the farm, I had some basic training from Dad on welding, wiring, plumbing, carpentry and raising cows.
Once I had the basic training, I “figured the rest out.” Bob’s rule number one in Fayetteville was, “If I have to do your job, I don’t need you.” Bob was one of my best leaders and mentors. This did not intimidate me because I figured that’s why I received a paycheck.
I am so thankful I was not raised by or worked for any enablers. They expected me to “figure it out.” I do believe this has been more valuable than any initial training I’ve received. Once we receive the basic training, sometimes the best training is no training.
Everything I’ve ever done that was worthwhile, I was pitiful at it when I began. Then I became good, better and then great at it. This occurred because I ‘figured it out.” I’m fortunate I had great leaders and mentors in my life. It seems life is just a continuous series of ‘figuring it out” and “fix it and call me.”
Sometimes in our many roles, we want to fix everything for everyone. As I think back on my life, maybe the most valuable advice we can give is, “fix it and call me.” If not, we could be enabling a group of people that will never be able to, “figure it out.” Unaverage people “figure it out” and “fix it and call me.”