A “factory manager” at a local factory called-in an “outside emergency maintenance guy” because one of his machines had “broken.” The maintenance guy arrived at the factory shortly after receiving the call. The “factory manager” then explained the problem he was experiencing to the “maintenance guy.” The maintenance guy responded, “I know exactly what the problem is,” then he quickly replaced a screw in the machine, and the machine began to work like new.
The maintenance guy then said, “That’ll be $300.00!” The factory manager responded, “$300! You just replaced one screw; that screw cost $1.00; I could have easily done that!”
The maintenance guy responded, “Yes, the screw did cost $1.00, but the knowledge of how to fix your machine cost $299, …and by the way, I only accept cash.”
What’s the point? When you don’t know, you will pay the higher price!
This is why it’s critical to remain a student of life. I’m always looking to learn and expand my mind, I’m always looking for leaders who’ve done what I’m trying to do, so that I can learn what they know.
Leaders are people with the knowledge you need, because they’ve been where you’re trying to go. Hear me out, leaders aren’t necessarily “special,” they don’t “glow in the dark,” or wear a “halo,” leaders are just people who’ve experienced what you’re trying to experience. They’re people who are a little further along the path that you’re traveling, and they have the knowledge to make your trip easier.
You follow leaders because they have knowledge. There’s no need to worship them, or sing praises to their name. You follow leaders because: “When you don’t know what they know, you will pay a higher price!”
Hang-out with Leaders
It’s good to hang around leaders; sit down with them, soak up everything they know. What’s a “Level 10” problem for you maybe a “Level 2” problem for them. Pick their brains (no pun intended), but don’t be caught “paying the higher price.”
You can access the minds of leaders by reading their web sites, reading their books, or having conversations with them. Pursue leaders in your life; pursue mentors who are going where you want to go. But before you can do this, you first you must recognize who those leaders are. If you don’t recognize the leaders in your life, you’re like a kid who doesn’t recognize the father who has gone before him, and therefore doesn’t pursue the wisdom of the father.
This Reminds Me of a Story
I’ve mentioned before that I went to LSU, and my sister-in-law, who’s 19 currently goes to LSU.
About a year ago my wife and I visited her sister at school:
While my wife and her sister were busy having fun and talking in the dorm room, I told them that I would go and visit the “Student Union.” My wife’s sister, who was 18 at the time, responded saying, “Do you know how to get there?”
I said “Yes,” but I was thinking, “…[chuckle, chuckle] excuse me, you’ve been here for 3 months, I have a degree from this university, I know exactly where I’m going…heck, I know a short-cut.”
What’s the point of my story? The point is that you should recognize the people in your life who’ve been where you’re trying to go; lean on them for wisdom, …don’t offer them unsolicited advice. What’s difficult to you, is not difficult to someone else, find out what they know.
Some people say, what you don’t know won’t hurt you, but the reality is, what you don’t know may be killing you; killing your potential, killing your drive, killing your focus and aborting your purpose.
When you don’t know: the quickest route, or the right contacts, or the right book, you will pay the higher price. That price may be in dollars, in time, or in frustration, but there is a price tag for “not knowing.” You don’t get to be ignorant for free. So pursue knowledge, follow leaders who are going where you’re going, and the journey will be quicker and smoother.
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