The value of interest

EIMG_0590veryone knows it: passion makes up for a lot of things. “I’d rather hire someone with a genuine passion than skills because I can teach him (or her) the latter while the former has to come from within.” It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to reason this way when hiring. And it is absolutely true.

I just spent some time together with students at a high school, studying to become mechanics. Somehow I guess I thought that there would be brilliant students, having been wrenching since they were toddlers. Not true. In the urban environment, something seems to be missing and that is first and foremost the passion for wrenching.

According to one of the teachers, the interest is there in about half of the students but the experience is lacking. Fair enough, they are young and city kids with all that comes with it. But the lack of interest in what they were doing was somewhat of a disappointment. When I was young, I was convinced that the guys who chose to become mechanics were gear heads, maybe not theoretical geniuses but practical ones. Again not true, at least not if this was representative for the situation. Without any formal training whatsoever, I am positive I could do the same work just reading from the schematics and doing was seems logical.

On the other hand, it feels great because this means that there are no real obstacles from being a late bloomer, slow starter or whatever you want to call it. I might even have an advantage when learning because now I am driven by the passion for motorcycles and have a mature mind. The young mind is easily distracted I discovered and things that seem logical when you get older and start to see things from different perspective might not be as logical to the youngster.