“If you’re a carpenter and you want to hang a door you don’t ask a bricklayer how to do it”
What a quote.
I heard it from the mouth of a football world cup pundit. A Welshman who performed miracles keeping Crystal Palace in the English Premier League, Tony Pulis. It was in the context of lamenting why so many former footballers fail to pass on their knowledge with school children.
There’s one angle I particularly like about it.
You must recognise the correct experience on which to call.
You often succumb to the constant tension between generalists and specialists and don’t realise.
Any decent “all-round tradesman” won’t do here.
Also, there’s can be so-called “expertise” that can wrongly blind you away from the right way of doing something.
The world’s best ‘brickie’ still remains a dodgy bet for door hanging nous.
I’m confronted with this in objection form myself occasionally right at this moment.
I seek to help those charged with selling a new product to actually sell it.
I’ve heard sales leaders say they have a marketing department that takes care of that.
Their marketing colleagues may well be world-beaters slapping down the mortar.
But they cannot possibly ever be relied upon to get your precious doors hung.
I digress slightly for a moment now. But as someone devoted to Sales best practice I must mention the obvious failing; the number of senior Sales execs that duly suggest ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’ are synonyms is truly baffling.
Moving on. It follows that there are many similar analogies you can draw. The first that sprang to my mind was medical. In the format of the above quoted sage, “if you’re a dentist and you have toothache you don’t go to your local general practitioner doctor”. There’s a parallel from just about any arena that you can choose to suit your audience. So you can easily apply this phrase to any situation where you feel your true focused skill is being mistakenly under-valued.