The young homeowner went to the hardware store to buy a new chainsaw, and he asked the employee for advice. The employee suggested a particular model and noted that “it can cut up to 25 yards of wood a day.”
The homeowner was thrilled, so he bought the chainsaw and went home to start cutting.
A week later the homeowner went back to the hardware store with the chainsaw and asked to talk to that same employee.
“It’s a pretty good chainsaw,” said the customer, “but I was only able to cut 15 yards of wood a day.”
“Hmm,” said the employee. “Let me check it out.” So the employee pushed a button, pulled the cord, and the chainsaw started right up.
Immediately the customer yelled, “What’s that noise?!!”
I can’t take credit for this story, but I love it! Obviously the customer was trying to use the chainsaw without actually turning it on. He was probably working incredibly hard to get it to cut, and when the employee – who was more experienced in the use of chainsaws – started it up, the customer realized the issue. He was working much harder than necessary, and he wasn’t getting the productivity he needed.
That’s what can happen to us when we rely too much on ourselves. Look around your office. Who has some wisdom to share? Who has specialized knowledge of a product, more experience with a service, appears more adept at handling certain types of customers, or is more comfortable in certain situations?
Identify them, and tap into their wisdom. Maybe you won’t have to work as hard, and you’ll be a little more productive and effective.
Use your proactive nature to help yourself.
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