It’s What You Know That Counts

by George Kennedy on September 4, 2011

It's What You Know That CountsOn my wall in my office at home, I have a framed copy of “The Legend Of Henry Ford And The Mechanical Engineer.” You may be familiar with it. It ranks as one of the most profound examples I know that attests to the value of personal knowledge. I will share it with you.

“Henry’s production line had come to a grinding halt. In-house engineers were baffled – unable to solve the problem. Meanwhile, Henry was aware each hour of downtime cost him dearly.

It soon became apparent he had no choice but to bring in outside help. And so a call went out to one of the country’s leading mechanical engineers. Upon arrival, he walked from one end of the line to the other … stopping to listen every twenty feet or so.

He walked back to a point midway along the line. Focusing his attention on a metal plate, he withdrew from his pocket a piece of chalk with which he chalked an X…with a flourish.

Turning to Henry he remarked ‘remove that plate and you’ll find a broken gear assembly.’ Just what it turned out to be.
Henry thanked the outsider profusely, saying ‘send me your bill, it’s one I’ll be glad to pay.’ Which is what the outsider did – in the amount of $500.

Henry was outraged and demanded an itemized invoice – or he wouldn’t pay. Several days later an envelope was delivered to Henry. It contained a statement which read:

Chalk for challmark $000.25
Knowing where to place chalkmark $499.75
Total $500.00

Seeing the truth of the matter and realizing this individual was not to be trifled with, Henry paid the invoice.
The moral of the story? When it comes to making new technology work, it’s what you know that counts.”

This example applies to business across the board, from the home-based-business (HBB) to the entrepreneur, to the medium-sized enterprise, and beyond. Ultimately, it is what YOU know that counts.

“Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn

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George Kennedy

George Kennedy was a business advisor to small technology companies in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Marana, AZ Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the United Way of Tucson organization. He also serves as an advisory board member to the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Mr. Kennedy is a retired senior Foreign Service officer with extensive international experience. He holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon and two graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

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