“I am now a Mechanical Engineer and yet my uncle still treats me like one of his mechanics.” I whispered to myself while trying my best to carry a heavy welding machine.
My uncle just gave me an instruction to bring the welding machine out so we can start working on one of the cars parked outside. Moving the machine means passing through three parked cars.
Absorbed in my thoughts, I nearly tripped off with one of its loose cables.
I continued to carry the heavy load and stepped on a tire wrench on the floor and that one sent me out of balance.
And when I was just few steps away from my destined post, I almost hit the piles of tires that could have messed the place some more.
And then my uncle called me back to where I picked up the welding machine. “What was that?” He asked me. “May I remind you, you are now a mechanical engineer and not one of my mechanics?” He continued.
Not knowing how to react, I wanted the spot from where I am standing to open up and swallow me alive. I was so embarrassed for he admitted to be watching my moves that time.
He even asked. “Did you not meet Dr. Edwards Deming all those years in the University? Did they not teach you the PDCA wheel?”
Whew! I wanted to answer 'yes' to both questions but lost my guts. He just reminded me more that leading is more than just giving orders and commands. It needs more planning, doing, checking, and taking action which I failed to apply in simply moving that welding machine.
If I had taken a little of my time PLANNING, I could have used the metal trolley to carry out that heavy piece of welding equipment. Then, I could have saved some precious time and energy DOING it. If I did some CHECKING before I proceeded, then I could have cleared the way and removed all obstacles that nearly put me in danger. True enough, my ACTIONS could have been more successful than stressful if I only did remember the logic behind the wheel of PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT!
After my uncle explained further some of the things expected of me as an Engineer, I thanked him more for treating me like one of his mechanics. In my mind I knew that he was way ahead of me as an engineer, yet all the things he learned from his training years in Japan guides him still.
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