There aren’t many jobs less fun than slopping hogs. But it has to be done. If someone doesn’t slop the hogs, then calamity will strike: NO BACON. What could be worse than that?
My friend, Leon Drennan, grew up on a 160 acre Kentucky farm. They raised hogs, cattle, and a few small crops (including tobacco). Leon’s first job on the farm was hog slopping. One step up from hog slopping was feeding the calves. It was a big day when his father trusted him enough to move from the pig pen to the calf pen. He had earned that trust by doing a great job at slopping hogs. And that is the same way any of us get out of the pig pen—we earn our way out.
If you or someone you know is stuck in the pig pen, the way out is:
Quit complaining. Be grateful you have a job.
Be the best hog slopper on the farm. Be so good that they can’t help but notice.
Prepare for the calf pen. Learn as much as you can about the care and feeding of calves.
Volunteer to feed the calves when the regular calf-feeder is out sick.
When the opportunity comes, grab it.
Escaping the pig pen happens at the intersection of opportunity and preparation. When opportunity knocks, be prepared! Leon was ready to feed the calves when the opportunity came. Much later, he was ready to lead a major division of HCA when the opportunity came.
If you are a mediocre hog slopper, why should anyone give you a chance at something else?
Never forget: the most important job you’ll ever have is the job you have now.
[For more on this subject, order 16 Stones at 16stonesbook.com or online.]
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© Copyright 2013 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
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