I have recently returned to Ambler after a year away working in a completely unrelated field. This last year has been one of my best for many reasons; primarily because it was the year of my first child’s birth. Besides that mind-expanding and life-altering event, I have had the chance to learn some great new things about myself and about business.
The biggest lesson learned is actually something I was introduced to in 1984 at the age of 6 by a guy you probably know, Mr. Miyagi. The Karate Kid had an impact on my young life at the time and this year I was reminded of the importance of Mr. Miyagi’s cornerstone lesson; ‘wax on, wax off’.
Before Mr. Miyagi’s karate protégé, Daniel, could actually get a chance to block a kick or throw a punch he had to perform what seemed to be endless chores for Mr. Miyagi around the house. Painting the fence, sanding the deck and waxing the cars in Daniel’s mind were a waste of time and energy and were getting him nowhere closer to his goal of kicking ass.
I found myself doing the chores of daily life and grumbling about how it wasn’t leading me in the right direction and how I can’t believe that this is what I’m doing with myself. But that’s when I heard Mr. Miyagi’s voice and it made me realize that if I don’t master the actions and intentions of my daily, routine tasks then I will never kick ass at anything. Waxing on and waxing off perfectly with both hands taught Daniel the exact actions he needed to block a kick when it matters most.
Perfect execution of the not-so-important tasks is what teaches us the characteristics of perfect execution in general. So that has literally brought me back to Ambler, a place where people really enjoy doing things right. I have started sanding the deck and painting some of the fence and I know that it is leading me as an individual and Ambler as a company to becoming masters at what we do.