If you’re not into action movies, combat sports, or pop culture, the name Bruce Lee probably doesn’t register. Wikipedia can tell you more about the man than I, but along with being an accomplished martial artist, Mr. Lee was a Renaissance Man. His philosophies on martial arts are more than mere principles of self-defense; they pertain to the general challenges of life.
The past few weeks, as I’ve felt the growing pains of becoming a graphics installer for TKO, one of Mr. Lee’s teachings has frequently come to mind:
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” — Bruce Lee
Much of what I’ve learned during my installation training is counter intuitive… more is less unless it’s more, and less is never enough! Beyond training, I’ve made an effort to gain a better understanding of TKO’s culture. For me, it’s important to know what I’m doing and to relate to the people I’m working with.
To be like water is to be without preconceived notions of how things ought to unfold. As a new employee, a readiness to learn new methods and relearn old ones goes a long way towards putting your employer at ease. Bosses are human — they can experience anxiety and confusion, especially when communicating critical job knowledge to someone they’ve just met.
Think of who you’d be more inclined to share YOUR hard earned wisdom with: Someone who stubbornly resists counsel, or someone who accepts it in earnest? No-brainer, huh?
So, if you’re new on the job (like me) and sincere about performing your duties well, allow your lack of know-how to be an advantage, and remain like water as you take the shape of a valuable employee.