Building Community Through Better Relationships

Give Me Learning or Give Me Death

An often quoted, old saying in professional circles goes, “It’s OK to have 20 years experience, but you don’t want one year’s experience 20 times.” People fawn over the wisdom of this quote, but do they really appreciate the depth of this statement? What really happens in those 20 years of the same experience?

Well, the first mistake is that our loyal and dedicated 20-year employee believes that he is getting more proficient. However, each year of polishing up the same skills with an additional year of “experience” moves the employee further behind. With increasing speed, technology and management innovations evolve. New skills are required. Without them, he just gets older.

In a very realistic scenario, this experienced employee eventually gets promoted because of their dedication and loyalty. Then, he has the authority to spread and endorse his antiquated skill set. Even if the organization continues to produce in this environment, their competition is implementing smarter practices and newer developments. Newer is not necessarily better, but more effective is definitely better. How many times does the team really need training on Microsoft Excel 97?

So, now the organization suffers. The old employee contributes no updated skills. What the employee disguises as passing on experience is really retelling antiquated myths. And the organization absorbs it. Tragically, the employee and those that learn from him do not simply fade into the sunset. The old employee has mummified in plain sight of the entire organization and the marketplace. And, his 20 years of the same experience settles on the organization like a curse.

Active and intentional learning is the only way that modern enterprises thrive. That learning must start at the individual contributor level. The classic question is, “what if you train your people and they leave?” The intelligent response is “what if you don’t train them and they stay?”! To be clear, learned employees can be valuable at any point in their career. Additionally, employees who lived through the organization’s progress, plus helped facilitate its growth through continued learning make a uniquely valuable contribution! On the other hand, the longstanding employee who holds firmly to his old ways falls victim to errors in judgment as demonstrated in this audio clip.
One Piece at a Time

By Glenn W Hunter


June 25, 2013 Posted by | Better Business, Better Person | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Shooter & an Old Man with a Cane

It is not important who and it is not important where. The critical issue is why. In a world full of all types of trouble, why does one shooter and one man with a cane matter? They matter because this is a love story, where the shooter is the son of the old man with the cane! The son is not a violent kid; he is a basketball player.

In fact, the son is a tremendous and highly decorated basketball player. Similar to anyone who enjoys significant accomplishment he is blessed with certain gifts that he in turn develops. The son makes shooting look easy. His range is only rivaled by his creativity. Everyone can see that he is a natural. Except that he isn’t.

The old man, the dad uses a cane as a result of multiple strokes. He needs it to move. Regarding basketball, the old man is knowledgeable and supportive. He is also in the driveway every morning at 5:30 am with his son, a basketball and a porch light. He rebounds for his son, the natural. He has helped develop other young men who have competed at the highest level, but this was his son. Now, it really matters. As for the son, the harder he works, the more he resents being labeled a natural. As hundreds of shots per day turn into thousands of shots per week, the natural makes it look easier.

The son does not really love the rigorous workouts. He often argues with the old man with the cane. Dad argues back. The shooter can stop at any time and still be a great shooter. But he loves the process, the continuous pursuit of accomplishment. Dad provides guidance, discipline and wisdom. As a mentor, dad loves the teaching, the sharing, the sacrificing. For goodness sake, he hobbles on a cane retrieving errant jump shots virtually in the dark!

Nevertheless without the shooter completely selling out to the process, the entire exercise is futile. Because of their mutual desire to give their best to each other, to love each other, and to remain committed to the process, they accomplish much. It is not the natural gifts that drive the accomplishments. The accomplishment results from intentionally developing those gifts with work, commitment and sacrifice; that is with love.

Greatness requires mentors. Guides to the process pave the way to accomplishment. Natural talents merely start the journey. Labels and stereotypes are merely distractions. But ultimately greatness requires love for the journey and commitment to the sacrifice. Find an old man with a cane, or be an old man with a cane. But, launch your journey! Relentlessly pursue it for the long haul, add proper guidance toward accomplishment and discover your individual greatness.

By Glenn W. Hunter

June 12, 2013 Posted by | Better Person | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment