Are you resourceful?

by Michael Haberman on August 28, 2018 · 0 comments


Being as resourceful as MacGyver can help you in life.

People add value to their positions by being resourceful. People add value to their families by being resourceful. People add value to themselves by being resourceful.  Being resourceful is a way to stay employed. One of my favorite authors, Harvey Mackay, wrote a recent piece on being resourceful. He tells the story of a resourceful peasant in 18th century Russia who exhibited resourcefulness in order to overcome a problem that engineers were unable to overcome. It reminded me of a construction crew in my neighborhood who showed similar resourcefulness.

The Story

The story that Mackay relates is about the founding of Saint Petersburg. The desired roadway was blocked by a huge granite boulder. A variety of ways were tried to remove the granite but to no avail. One day an unassuming looking peasant approached the authorities and said he could remove the granite and a cost much lower than the over ways offered. He and a group of fellow peasants dug a large hole on one side of the boulder deep enough to bury the boulder and then buried the boulder under the roadway and were rewarded for their resourcefulness. This is most likely an apocryphal story, but I witnessed a similar event in my neighborhood on a lot where a house was to be constructed. As the crews had graded the lot they came across many granite boulders, which they piled in one corner of the lot. We all were dreading the day they were going to be hauling those boulders away because it was going to mean a lot of noise as they filled dump trucks with those boulders. However, much to our surprise, they instead dug a very deep hole and buried those rocks up against a small cliff in the backyard. Problem solved with no noisy dump trucks!

Characteristics of resourceful people

Mackay listed several characteristics he uses to determine someone’s resourcefulness. These include:

  • They must be open-minded. This means they know what is and isn’t possible. They are willing to embrace different possibilities, people, and views to broaden their perspective. They are willing to expand their comfort zone by trying different things.
  • They are self-confident. They believe that they can handle any problem they encounter or that there is a solution to any problem they encounter. They can visualize overcoming any obstacle.
  • They are innovative. Resourcefulness is about optimizing what you have to work with. Mackay says this person can McGyver anything.
  • They are adaptable. They have to be willing to try different things.
  • They are persistent. They try many different ways until they succeed. One of my favorite personalities on TV is the Incredible Dr. Pol. Dr. Pol is a veterinarian who saves may animals lives with his motto “I never give up.” He is persistent until there is no other option.
  • They are optimistic. If you have the right attitude, the solution is easier to find. You have to believe that you can get through any issue and come out better and stronger.

For Mackay, these are the characteristics that show that someone is resourceful and thus worthy of being a part of his company.

Are you resourceful?


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