Leadership wisdom: do you have it?


Do you know the difference between experience and time spent on the job?  Wise leaders do.  Read the following story taken from Understanding Your Role As A Leader.   I will not make any conclusions or issue any challenges.  Both of those are up to you.


Early in the 20th century the Campisano family movde from Italy to North America.  Finding himself in a new country and in a new culture, and without the ability to speak English, Al Campisano,   the oldest of the children, at age eleven, began his American           educational experience in the first grade….


I have often wondered what Al Campisano was learning in the first  grade that the other students were not.  When I met Al in the 1970s he and his brother Guy were the owners and operators of a            multi-million dollar business named the AL CAMPISANO FRUIT         COMPANY.  Al and Guy had become highly respected business         and community leaders in Louisville, Kentucky…


Sal Campisano was a brother to Al and Guy and he was employed by the fruit company as a dock worker.  At that time, I was part owner of a small wholesale produce business and a large portion of what I sold came from the Campisano brothers.  One morning  while I was paying my bill, Guy and I were standing in his office from where we could see out onto the sales loading area.

Looking in that direction, I saw Sal.  Out of curiosity, I asked Guy, “How  long has Sal been working here?”  “About nine years,” responded Guy. “Then why is he still working on the dock?” I asked.  “He is a family member and has nine years experience.  Why is he not in management?”

To which Guy responded in a way that I will never forget.  He            said to me, “Mark, you don’t understand.  Sal doesn’t have            nine years of experience.  He has one year of experience and             has had it, nine times.”*


*Mark T. Sorrels, Understanding Your Role As A Leader, (Bloomington, IN, Xlibris Corporation, 2011),11-12.