Lessons from a master craftsman (Part 2)
Today, I realized that about five months have passed since I started working with a master craftsman, i.e., Pastor Rob. The past five months have been filled with new lessons on how to fasten screws, demolishing structures, building structures, and life lessons, so I decided to write a sequel to my first article on the lessons I learned while working for a master craftsman.
While the first article was filled with explicit lessons from the master, this article will detail lessons I learned while observing the master craftsman at work.
One major thing I noticed while working with Pastor Rob is that tiredness is never an excuse! There were days when we were all tired after pushing hard in the preceding weeks, but Pastor Rob still shows up as long as it is a workday. Even when he shows up, he never complains about his tiredness. If there is a task to be done, he does it with so much vigor that I wonder if he was tired in the first place. As I observed this, I learned to work despite my tiredness. I learned to persevere and be tenacious.
Another observation I made while working these past months is that Pastor Rob is not happy to complete the job and check it off the list whenever we have an open task. Quality matters to him, and this often requires going the extra mile to deliver a quality product. He takes pride in his work and says that his work is his signature; therefore, the output must be of high quality. On the other hand, I was usually happy to get a job done and forget about it. As I continued to work daily with a master who takes pride in his work, he has taught me how to do quality work and go the extra mile!
In addition to going the extra mile, I noticed a complementary dimension to his work. He brings an attitude of service into work. He does not work for the sake of work, but rather, he does his best to serve others with his work. This attitude has taught me to serve others with my work. Bringing a perspective of service to a workplace always leads to adding value to the lives of colleagues and customers.
Further, whenever Pastor Rob works, he is focused! He is not interested in any discussion that has no direct bearing on the task at hand. People are free to discuss around him, but the conversation rarely elicits a response from him if it is not related to the task at hand. Observing him at work has taught me about the value of focus and how the loss of focus can introduce unnecessary errors into the work. This lesson reinforces previous information that I have about focus and how it can affect our output.
Finally, I look back and marvel at how I have learned so much while working with a master craftsman. Unlike many jobs today, the feedback on a craftsman’s job is immediate (at least you will see a leaning wall without proper support before it is even completed), so they have little incentive to do a shoddy job. This immediate feedback puts many work-related activities into perspective and gives them a unique approach to work. Observing this relationship to work and life, in general, is enlightening. Therefore, I recommend watching a master craftsman at work or, better, working with a master craftsman; your relationship with work will not remain the same. Happy crafting!