My hole, Bill's handiwork...

My hole, Bill’s handiwork…

“Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.” Milton Erickson

When we discovered late Sunday afternoon that there was a water leak in our front yard I started digging a hole to find out where it was. I started digging and I kept digging. Past the sprinkler line which didn’t survive the onslaught of my shovel and further down into the soaked clay soil. I knew I was in the right spot because the water was clearly bubbling up from below, but how far down? I repeatedly bailed out the hole to make the digging easier but it was a slow, sloppy effort. I knew I was making progress and I knew that the source – probably the water line into the house – was down there somewhere but I just couldn’t find it. I had opened the hole to about four feet across and three feet down when it dawned on me: even if I found it I had no idea what I was going to do about it.

So I stopped.

I washed my hands, picked up my phone and Googled “water line leak and repair” in my zip code. The first search result was for RotoRooter and the second was a “how-to” video on YouTube. I clicked the video and while it was attempting to load (thanks iOS7!) I thought better of it. I thought about the value of my time, my relative inexperience, my lack of resources and the essential truth that expertise really does matter.

I made the call, made a drink, set-up a beach chair and had a seat in the driveway. The cavalry was on the way.

In total, it took Bill five hours, a second effort when his first fix failed, many phone calls to hardware stores to find the right kind of PVC glue, and a lot of sweaty muddiness to get the job done. And he’s the expert. Can you imagine what it would have taken me?

I absolutely love to solve problems and to get things done. And, I have a deep regard for knowledge and experience.

Sometimes it takes an hour of digging in the mud to figure out how to get the best of both.

Published On: October 7th, 2013 / Categories: inspiration, leadership, Uncategorized / Tags: , /

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