I recently read a story that got me thinking. It goes like this:
Nikola Tesla visited Henry Ford at his factory, which was having some kind of difficulty. Ford asked Tesla if he could help identify the problem area. Tesla walked up to a wall of boilerplate and made a small X in chalk on one of the plates. Ford was thrilled, and told him to send an invoice.
The bill arrived, for $10,000. Ford asked for a breakdown. Tesla sent another invoice, indicating a $1 charge for marking the wall with an X, and $9,999 for knowing where to put it.
I did a little research, and the story is just a legend. However, like an Aesop fable the moral of the story rings true. The value of an action is often less than the value of the knowledge behind that action…the proverbial knowledge bomb.
Something I have personally tried to achieve is always having the answer. Sometimes the answer is “I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you,” even if it means I will be up until all hours of the night fighting to find the solution.
I often find that other people will settle by saying “No, we can’t do that” or “I’m not sure” and leave it at that…which confounds me. My mission has always been to say “yes,” because it is possible, we just have to figure it out.
In a nutshell, being an expert means saying “yes” and doing whatever it takes to make it a reality.