I had heard the phrase maybe once or twice growing up in my little bubble of a 5-mile radius around my backyard. It never resonated how powerful the words would eventually become.
As an adult, and middle management of an advertising agency, these words have come to be a staple in my vocabulary.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Sure, the easy way is to take over and do things yourself, knowing they will be completed quickly and correctly. Or, you can exercise a little patience and train someone, being careful to cover every step and encourage consistency / speed / accuracy. These small but important steps will eventually have a snowball effect and allow the person to grow within your organization; training someone else down the road to take over their position, using the very foundation that you taught them.
So stop, breathe, and teach a man to fish. You’ll be thankful that you did!