Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day.
Teach someone to fish, and you feed them for as long as fish are at their fishing spot.
Teach someone to learn, and they may discover that
they can themselves …
– find other fishing spots –
– learn to hunt –
– build a shelter –
– make a fire –
– gather and store water –
– make clothing –
– prepare for the winter –
– teach others to learn…
As a manager, coach or teacher, you can tell an engineer, another manager, a player, another coach, a student or another teacher what to do. That’s probably the fastest way to get something specific done in the short term. Or, you can teach them how to do it when the situation requires so they can do the same thing again by themselves as needed. The logical progression is to help them appreciate they can discover how to do pretty much anything themselves – this allows them to find ways of doing things themselves they have never done before. It allows them to not only be much more self-sufficient, but also to innovate and come up with solutions to problems you yourself hadn’t even known existed. Going one step further is enabling them to teach others to learn…
From the Tao te Ching, Chapter 17 – one of my favorites from this translation which is one of my favorite books.