Jim’s Rant For The Day. Frogs, Conductors and Failed Organizations.
When I was in my mid 20s I met a retired gentleman who fascinated me with tales of his life. I was fortunate to have visited with him on three occasions. But the first meeting stuck with me all my life. Here’s why.
His true passion was railroad trains. In his mid 20s he was employed as an apprentice conductor on a steam powered freight train. He loved it. But his future there was lost forever when he took an off duty train ride into WWII.
He explained to me all the duties of a conductor. One was that the conductor took full control of the train when it was derailed – the engineer gave him the keys. Each engine, up until the 1950s, carried a pair of Frogs strapped to its sides. A frog was a three foot long metal ramp that was bolted to both rails. The engine then pulled the train slowly up the ramp until the derailed wheels dropped down into their proper position on the tracks.
On my way home I thought about how horrifying it would have been for him if he had not volunteered for the military. Because of the loss of manpower and the increase in train traffic due to the war effort, he would have been fast promoted without the usual training. What if he had no formal training on the use of the frogs. He would have been responsible for rerailing that huge train, all while everyone was watching him, unprepared for that moment. How frightening.
My sister recently called me asking what to expect after the Reset. I am seeing the same thing as my retired friend – a frightening moment ahead if you aren’t prepared for it. If you suddenly became wealthy what would you do with your life? If your job or business was no more how would it affect you emotionally? Financially? If money no longer mattered to you where would you live, in your current home or move closer to family? I saw a movie once called Gifted. (See Trailer) It was about a 25ish math prodigy that was pushed all her life to solve one of mankind's unanswered math problems. Her whole childhood was spent on that pursuit. She cracked it and shortly after committed suicide. She said after you achieve your only goal in life what do you do then?
This is my warning to all of us. When a lot of organizations around you fail, before rerailing your life be looking at all the possibilities past the problem first. Start now.