On a recent Alaskan cruise, I had the good fortune to meet up with a gentleman from Montreal who was a gameday official in the Canadian Football League. Now, I was an NFL announcer for a long time, so any time I meet up with another football guy, we’ll start talking.
After getting the rundown on his background, (14 years officiating in high school and college before getting the call to the big time) we talked about what it’s like being on the field, in charge of making sure those big guys stay within the guidelines.
I asked him what it was like to have to make snap decisions on plays that were run at such high speed 80, 90, 100 plays a game.
“It’s not at high speed,” he said, “it’s in slow motion.”
“It is? Oh, you mean the replay.”
“No. The game. It’s in slow motion.”
Now there are times when it takes me more than a moment to figure something out. But when the pilot light finally hit, I knew what he meant. He’s been at his occupation for so long that what might seem brutal and harsh to somebody else, flows slowly and easily in front of his eyes. I flashed back to my first day in broadcasting, when I sat in the control room and watched the six o’clock news, the director shouting comments and commands, all sorts of noise, dozens of monitors. I seriously began to think I’d never figure it out. But after a while, things began to make sense without having to be analyzed. It was all in slow motion. I just never thought about it that way until my meeting on the cruise ship.
Things flow like that for you, too, in your chosen field. But it never hurts to remember the day when it was super-fast. So, when an employee comes to you with a problem, try to remember the relative speed of things.
P.S. Yes, Alaska was beautiful. As evidenced by my wife’s photo of Hubbard Glacier.