Experience vs. Learning

We are coming to the end of a series of promotional exams for our personnel and I had someone say to me that a certain person deserved a promotion because they were the "most experienced" candidate.

I'm of the belief that experience is only valuable if you actually learn from it.  Longevity isn't the same as experience.  Surviving something isn't the same as living it.  There's a big difference between lasting through a ride on a horse and riding the horse.  It's much like the difference between taking your dog for a walk and the dog taking you for a walk.

The more you see an event occur, or an event like it, the experience becomes valuable if you can constructively critique your performance, understand how you can improve, and make changes to your behavior.  If you can't do these things, your experience is useless.

Benefit comes from being able to see the right pitch, recognizing it for what it is, and to swing when the timing is right.  Are you mentally able to let go of your perceptions and beliefs for a minute and recognize that change is difficult, but often required, to improve?

1 Comment

  • Fire Student says:

    I agree with this post 100%. I read and article from Chief Kelvin Cochran in the Fire Rescue magazine once entitled Tenure Does Mean Competency. To many times I see promotions handed to guys because they have been there the longest. Oddly enough it is normally the guys that can’t make it anywhere else, but not true in all cases.

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