Learning by doing

10 06 2016

“Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.” ~Edward Weston

You can read everything there is to know about great writing, or you can start writing, and ask for a critique.  The same can be said for my passion, fishing.  I could have read “A River Runs Through it” and “500 fly fishing knots” before I picked up a fly rod, or I could do what I did.  I saw someone who was catching fish in holes that I had fished for a while earlier and got nothing.  He looked at my rig, cut off about 6 feet of tackle, and handed it to me in disgust.  Then he tied on one of his hooks (and gave me the mostly empty pack so I could buy more), rigged up a few tiny weights – in strategic locations, tore some computer packing foam (black is best)off a strip he had on his vest, put it on the hook, and said “cast there”.  I did as he said, and had my first Salmon with a fly rod… ever… within 4 casts.  That foam trick is NOT in any fly fishing book, because they want you to buy $4-$10 “custom” hand tied flies – but the Salmon don’t care.

Leaders, you can (and should) read books about management, but there’s nothing like hearing your boss tell you that you’re ready for the next management challenge, and diving into it.  Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll be doing it.  It won’t take long for you to figure out if you love it, or would rather not do it.  Once you know you love it (whether it’s Salmon Fishing or Leadership), THEN you can start reading books.  I promise you’ll get more out of them that way.  Now, I wouldn’t suggest you start trying to build bombs or airplanes from scratch, as the cost of failure is way too high.  J

Speaking of gravity…

Gravityworm

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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