By Joshua Wilson, Geospatial Field Technician Team Leader

When I was recently asked the question, “what’s your why” my initial reaction was to respond with why I’ve chosen to do my job for a living.  The answer, on the surface, is quite simple: I do what I do for the money. While that is not the type of answer that makes an impressive keynote speech at an annual meeting, it is the truth. If I am not taking care of my family and providing for them in the best way that I can then all the other why, where, who, what, and when’s don’t really matter. Now, if I tweak the question to, “what is your why behind what you do” the answer has more depth to it.

Prior to working at Firmatek, I was the General Manager of a hotel. There was just one problem, I wasn’t very good at it. I would rate myself as a sub-par to adequate GM at best. Honestly, I just was not ready for the role. To name a couple reasons, this was partly due to my inexperience as a business leader, lack of mentorship, having the wrong mindset going into it, and maybe even the fact that I was just too young. Ultimately though it is because my mentality was all wrong. I thought that I deserved that position. I thought I had earned it in the years of prior experience at that hotel. I thought work experience alone was enough to make me a good GM. But in those years, I never stopped to learn the lessons that presented themselves to me day to day that in the end could have made me a good leader.

As the story goes, long before he was King David, long before he was the commander of the army, long before he was defeating giants, David was just a shepherd. Herding sheep was not exactly the sort of thing listed in the “University of Kings” course catalogue and rural fields were a long way from palace halls. It was in the fields with a flock of sheep the foundations of a great leader, warrior, and king were made. While being alone in the fields, David learned the value of hard work and integrity. Grazing the sheep, David learned to transform a large group of individuals all going their own directions into a cohesive unit moving together. Selling portions of the flock or their wool and milk, David learned economics. It was while protecting the sheep from thieves, lions, and bears that David learned offensive and defensive strategies as well as the importance of protecting the weak.

So why am I going down this rabbit trail of biblical narrative? Because while the situation may be very different, the principle remains the same. I obviously am not looking to be a king or lead an army, but I have found that the leaders people really want to follow are built one small task at a time. Making sure that I arrive to a site on time and collecting the most thorough data I can is teaching me to respect our clients and to be a trusted advisor. Turning in my expense report on time as well as keeping my equipment clean and well maintained is teaching me to be a good steward of others resources. Sending adequate data, field notes and having clear communication to our processors and engineers is teaching me to put the team first. Attending trainings, helping to write and develop SOP’s in new fields, and always trying to refine my processes is teaching me how to be a better innovator. To overlook the opportunities and responsibilities that I have right here and right now for aspirations of a better position may cause me to miss out on the very foundational lessons that will refine me into the leader I need to become. Greater opportunities may or may not come my way, but if they do, I want to be ready.

So, in the end my “why” is to learn the lessons of now in order to be the most prepared and equipped version of myself for whatever comes next.

About Joshua Wilson

Joshua joined Firmatek in 2015 as a Geospatial Field Technician. Prior to joining Firmatek, Joshua worked for Petram Measurements, a multinational stockpile measurement firm that measured over $2.5 billion in aggregate products. During his time at Firmatek, Joshua has been promoted to a Geospatial Field Technician Team Leader and serves as Firmatek’s resident Riegl VZ expert. He’s authored Standard Operating Procedures for the company as acts as one of Firmatek’s primary field technician trainers.

Learn more about the Firmatek team in our What’s Your Why Series blogs:

Lauren Elmore, Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Maximow, Chief Drone Officer
Chris Mauldin, Senior Operations Manager
Roger Sterry, President of Client Services
Agha Zain, Vice President of Product and Software Development
Jeff Freund, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions
Kyle Houston, Project Engineer
Justin Real, Geospatial Field Technician