A Story on Driving License
Our Managing Partner/CEO telling an interesting experience about his driving license:
I obtained my driving license when I was around 20 years old. I took up driving lesson with manual car. Those days, automatic car wasn’t as popular as now. So managing a clutch in a manual car is important and a skill requiring practises.
Since my family did not own a car at that time, I did not get to practise my driving skill.
I don’t recall I drove any car until 5 years later during my first business trip to the US in the first year of my career.
There were 2 of us, both young process engineers. Prior to departing, my colleague asked me if I had a driving license. I said yes. Then I asked him if he has one. He said yes. So all sounds good.
When we got to the car rental counter in the US, however, unexpected thing happened. My colleague told me to register myself as driver. I said I never drove before so I thought he should have been the driver. He sheepishly said that he never drove a car before too despite having a valid license.
Long story short, I became the registered driver and my driving journey started in a foreign country, on an automatic car I wasn’t familiar with and, worst of all, a left-handed steering wheel.
Lesson learned: never blindly assume, always check and verify.
In subsequent years after my first-ever driving experience, I travelled to the US quite frequently.
Those days, I carried Indonesia driving license. I had 2 driving licenses, type A for car and type C for motorcycle. The license didn’t have any other remark to indicate if it was valid for car or motorcycle but the letters were sufficiently recognized in Indonesia.
In one of the trip, my car driving license (type A) expired. Unlike Singapore and some other countries, there is 5-year validity of driving license in Indonesia. So we had to renew it every 5 years.
I didn’t realise this fact until I was at the car rental counter. So I had no choice but to present my motorcycle license (type C) to the officer.
The officer didn’t ask what the letter C stands for, fortunately, but if he were to ask, I was prepared to tell him that the letter C stands for CAR.
Lesson learned: be prepared, always have a backup plan, and be innovative to find alternative solutions.
Possessing a valid driving license did not mean that I was skilled in driving a car.
I’ve made some seriously foolish mistakes. Fortunately, none of the impact was serious.
It took me many years and many driving experiences before I can classify myself as “very good” but even then I dare not say that I’m “excellent” in driving.
Similarly, whether it’s Lean Six Sigma or Industry 4.0 or Project Management or Agile, whatever it is, attending a training and even getting a certification is only a start, not the end of the learning journey.
Training and certification are to provide you with the basics. You need to practise the skill in order to be good at it.
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