Memorizing can be one of the biggest time sucks.
Although most of us at the business coaching office have had the concept of memorization hammered into our brain from preschool all the way through college, it is the biggest time-suck that exists. There is so much valuable time and money that is lost when you memorize or when you pay employees to memorize. If you find yourself training or training one of your employees for weeks and weeks on end by memorization, you are taking the poor man’s route to success. This route is very long and painful. The solution is very simple yet it is frowned upon because our society has built a positive picture around memorization. When your waiter memorizes your table’s entire order and brings out the food perfectly, it’s pretty impressive. You also have to remember that the waiter has spent a huge portion of his one and only business coaching life memorizing a menu. A list of different foods and drinks. It’s a cool party trick, but who wants to spend their life memorizing teas, coke products, and the different types of ravioli that Olive Garden has to offer?
In Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, Hill writes about his good friend, Henry Ford. Ford was an incredibly educated man but his education was neither general knowledge nor specific knowledge. His education consisted of how to acquire what he wants. Ford’s mind was not full of information but he invested in himself and developed the skill of obtaining knowledge. Ford was actually called an “Ignorant Pacifist” by a newspaper in Chicago. Ford brought the paper who labeled him as ignorant to court and filed a suit for labeling him.
While in court, Ford was asked questions such as “Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the Rebellion of 1776?” These are questions that, in no manner, would ever help Ford get the things he wanted out of life but were also things that were deemed as common knowledge to most people. They kept asking Ford more and more of these questions when he finally became tired of the endless questions. Ford pointed at the lawyer that was asking the questions and told him, “If I should really WANT to answer the foolish question you have just asked or any of the other business coaching questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
Knowledge without actually applying what you know is pointless knowledge.
Ford was an incredibly EDUCATED man who knew how to get answers and took action once he knew the answer. Knowledge without actually applying what you know is pointless knowledge. We should not be spending our valuable business coaching time cramming our minds with information that does not belong in there. When you hire and train an employee, it should not take five weeks for them to learn how to do their job. You must nail down the knowledge and scale the knowledge. It would be ridiculous if McDonald’s made each and every one of their employees memorize the recipes of every single menu item. They made you stare at the ingredients and repeat out loud, “Bottom bun… One patty… Three pickles… Ketchup… One tomato… Lettuce… Onions… Top Bun… In that order… “ With dozens of menu items, the company would have to train all of their employees for weeks without actually bringing in any money. They would also have to pay their employees much more because they have to be great at memorization. That sounds so incredibly silly, yet so many small businesses do this very thing. We hire somebody and spend weeks of training and payroll cramming information into their brains then two weeks later, they leave for a “better opportunity”. Why do we do this to ourselves? It is because we were taught for over a decade to cram information into our brains. Flashcards, tests, and quizzes trained our brains to store as much information as we humanly can. At no point do we learn how to go and find the information. The information is always handed to us in a bound book and all we have to do is memorize it.
You must educate yourself on how to find the answers and stop memorizing the answers. When you provide newly hired employees with a checklist and EDUCATE them on where to find that checklist, your team will take drastically less time In training and you will save so much money. Take the time now to create a system and educate your team on where to find the answers.