Business - and life - lessons my father taught me: lesson one
A few weeks ago, I lost my dad. He was funny, intelligent, stubborn, compassionate for those who are down and out, and a great business person. It just happened to be the business of farming. I learned a lot from him whether he knew it or not.
This is lesson one: Someone has to hold the flashlight.
When I was little and wanted to help my dad repair things (like a car or a tractor), he'd always say "You can hold the flashlight."
I was thrilled. I got to hang out with him, and do something adult. I took pride in holding the light steady and also keeping the car hood from banging down on his head.
But then, as I got older (and I was still holding the flashlight) I started to say "Hey, wait a minute... why don't I get to use the tools?" And he'd say, "...because someone has to hold the flashlight. And that's you."
I got a bit miffed, to be honest. But then, as I got MUCH older, and wiser, I realized he was right. Someone DOES have to hold the flashlight, so that the person with the tools can do his or her job, without being in the dark or getting banged in the head.
Business and life lesson learned: be certain you appreciate and value each team member's role in getting a job done, no matter how inconsequential it seems to anyone. There is probably a flashlight-holder or two in your world. Be sure to say thank you.