Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reply to Carson Morris

This is being cross posted on the Ace blog and Lowell's Under the Hood

Thank you for making your thoughts known to the rest of us.

I, as one of the senior residents of Lexington, hope that you do NOT get homesick for our fair city. I am a life-long resident the these parts and have grown to live everything about Lexington. I would find it hard to leave for good.

When I graduated from high school, I, unlike so many others did not know to what profession I would apply myself. I drifted from part-time to part-time employment and even tried my hand at college. I eventually took up the artistic skill of cartography. I took to it well enough, it was just that there were very few places that called for such skills. After a short dry spell I finally found a position that applied mapmaking, Lexington history, graphic arts and the workings of government and embarked on a career of serving the citizens of this city.

I was not always listened to and sometimes told that my proposed solution would not work. I followed what were sometimes difficult procedures to get to a solution and also kept a version of my attempts at different methods. After some trial and error, I refined my way of recording information and offered it as an alternate and when more people returned for my version my superiors dropped the original way. This does not happen all the time and others have had better ideas than me, but a number of my solution have made it easier to automate the processes for future solutions.

I tell you this because it does no good to demand that you be listened to if you cannot show how your ideas and solutions can yield better results, especially in a side-by-side comparison. Your father is an excellent mechanic yet it would do him no good to tell everyone if he did not prove it every time out in the shop. It is through this proof that he is listened to and engaged for future encounters. The skills that he brings to the job (or situation) is what gives him value in his work and in his community. These are values that I am sure that your father will impart to you as you grow older.

I believe that everyone in Lexington wants to respect you and your positions, but I also know that that respect is earned when you can demonstrate a better way and resist demanding unproven solutions. This is a situation that was familiar to the unions in the ‘30s, the beatniks in the ‘50s, the hippies in the ‘60s and so many others through out history. We really do realize that you are out there AND we want to engage you in the workings of leadership but changing the direction of the ship(or car) comes from farther back in the vehicle. Often those in the middle of the pack have more influence on steering than the lead dog.

We want you to succeed and ask you to join us to make your future what you want it to be.

The Lexington Streetsweeper

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