Published on March 2, 2014
You want to learn to be a Lineman? That’s easy; the question is which team do you want to be a part of? You, your classmates,CVTC Faculty & Staff, the electric power utility industry, andyour instructor allcombine here at the West Campus Energy Education Center to afford any willing student that opportunity. It is your responsibility to choose to learn from all! Begin by surrendering yourself to the notion that your vocation is now that of a learner. Treat this opportunity like the career you hope to realize, everything else in your life is now a distraction from this goal. Treating it like every other job you have ever had will not be good enough! Realize that any preconceived notions you may have had about what it is to be student may be false as it relates to this career goal. Obediently listen to and apply all of the principals, guides, techniques, ideas that your instructor(s) show you. Do this promptly, obediently, and cheerfully as you may only be shown these things once. The principals that you subscribe to will become evident by how well you believe this which will be displayed by your actions, your words, and your thoughts which guide all you are. The best way to get people to learn is to turn them into teachers. In other words, you learn the material best when you teach it. The best students are those who teach what they learnand understand. When you teach, you simply learn better. This is the point of an apprenticeship. The first four years are to keep you alive. The next four to forty years are when you learn, depending on how well you believe this is true or not (you may not continue to learn….this is the problem facing the industry which is what fuels entitlement beliefs). When each student becomes the teacher and every teacher is a student, the entire class/group/industry learns together. It is the ultimate mechanical or intelligence fulcrum of leverage known to man.
It opens the pathway to human genius, creativity, passion, talent, ambition,and pure unleashed productivity and motivation. This is how YOU will lead the industry in the next generation(s), by having teams made of motivatedindividual leaders who take advantage of that innovation and harness this for the common good not only in the market place but in society.
To know and not do, is really not to know. For our trade the trick everyone has learned is to ‘look’ like they know what they are doing and immediately move into action or motion toward accomplishing what must be done. This is okay, as long as we haveLEADERSwho will acknowledge this is how they started. But then give credit to theWORKERSwho admitted they were there once too. And then, over time they truly learned what was important and why they did what they did.
As an apprentice, you will not know why until you first FULLY COMMITTED to doing just because the Journeyman next to you said so. It becomes a matter of trust; believing that obedience will unlock understanding. It may be that the one telling you what to do truly does not yet know himself why, but is trusting in the tradition of learning what to do, or more importantly: what not to do.This trade is wide and varied; there is no way to prepare a person for each and every circumstance they will encounter. Therefore no single person will ever know everything that needs to be done. This is why we refer to electricity as a theory; there are innumerable variable factors we are constantly evaluating. Eventually those involved, by faith, realizeenough “Ah-Ha” moments as to the why’s…then that man goes back and confidentlyteaches this trust by example when and where he is able.
As you walk through your apprenticeship look for this man;seek to learn to be like this man, he is the true Journeyman. That man may be the same one who never left the county or never stayed in one past the last ice storm. But he is a man who has journeyed the whiles of life by these principals. And if only you would listen, he will show you not only what, when, where, and how you are to walk on your journey. Before he is done he will inspire you to desire to go back and teach what you know to be true, even though you cannot yet explain why, in hopes that you will finally understand and come to believe in the Power by which we live or die. The biggest problem facing the electric utility industry today is finding teams of Journeymen who are not afraid to learn to lead themselves, and then teach that by example as they learn to lead and train others. These are the teams of people who can and will lead the next generation by example into the way that they should go. Teams like your instructors at CVTC. Good teams are respected…why?
Good teams are not just merely talented, but they also work together. This is no accident. To work well each team member is valued by every member of his team. In turn the team member values each and every member of his team. Each team member is relied upon for their individual and specific talents and abilities by each of their team members. In short he is respected, beyond that he is shown dignity and respect because he is given dignity and respect. Respect is NOT an emotional response; it is not a warm fuzzy feeling which pops up on its own. Respect is not even something that is earned, which is contrary to popular belief. Inreality this why people do not understand or display respect today, because we have never been taught, or don’t care to learn what it is. Respect begins with a choice or a decision, a deliberate intention which is meant to bring about specific response. No matter what your desired outcome was, you cannot control what happens once your choice has been put into motion. The chain of events which follows is your responsibility, and so are ALL of the outcomes that happen until the chain of reaction stops. Men control their thoughts, so practice this through controlling their words; they practice that by controlling their deeds. In short the true man understands that the principle of a good team begins with him. Leadership and integrity are contagious; they grow as a result of self-respect which is practiced by choosing to respect others. Make a deliberate decision to choose to respect you today, not later, but now. This is the best thing you can do for yourself, your career and your future. Only then are you able to respect another, only then are you capable to respect the Journeymen who are begging for young men they can teach. Then you can become friends, only then will you have a common eye toward the same things. Only then will you see you both want the same thing, respect. You made the right choice!
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