Q: My boss goes over the basics time and time again. We go over basic pig treatments, basic artificial insemination, basic feeding, basic animal handling and other simple things all the time. It makes us feel like brand-new employees; why this continuous review?

A: A story often told about legendary Green Bay Packers’ coach Vince Lombardi is that after his first disappointing year as coach, he began the following year’s training camp by calling all of the players together. He then held up a football and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Next, he proceeded to tell them everything about the football — how it was made, why it was shaped the way that it was, the history of the game and the fundamentals of every single position. 

The offense focused on practicing six basic plays throughout the camp. By the middle of the season, the players said that they knew those six plays so well, and every player knew his role so well, that they could tell the other team’s defense exactly where they were going to run the ball and they would still gain yards.

Lombardi’s lesson — knowing the basics is critical to mastering any task and reaching your full potential. A person loses what he or she does not use, so it takes practice and regular review to maintain those skills.

Your boss uses those reviews to ensure that the regular, basic procedures are performed consistently and accurately. It helps you maximize your focus and value to the operation and prevents sloppiness from creeping in. Perhaps it would be best to appreciate the regular reviews and use them as the foundation for learning new skills.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

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