News & Events
Reflections on Leadership
- June 6, 2016
- Posted by: living
- Category: blog
A story is told of a traveller who came across three stonecutters and he asked them what they were doing.
The first one replied saying he was the most miserable person on earth and that he had the hardest job in the world. “Every time I have to move huge stones to make a living.” I make barely enough to eat.”
The traveller proceeded to the second stonecutter. When he was asked what he was doing, he replied, “I am earning a living by doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country. Although the work is hard, I am satisfied with what I do and earn enough to feed my family. The traveller praised him and gave him a coin, and went on.
When the traveller went to the third stonecutter, he noticed that although the stonecutter had dust and sweat on him, he looked happy and was singing a cheerful song. The traveller was astonished and asked the stonecutter, “What are you doing”? The stonecutter looked up with a visionary gleam in his eye and said, “Can’t you see? I am building a cathedral.”
This story provides a powerful lesson on leadership. Great leadership is hinged on looking at issues in different perspectives-changing mindsets. It is a lesson on vision. It is too, a lesson on legacy as an aspect of enduring leadership.
What sets the third stonecutter apart? This person embraces a broader vision. It’s interesting that he can visualize the end result…a cathedral; knowing that he may not live long enough to see its completion. (Building a cathedral may take years and years and years…) This stonecutter is giving a lifetime of work that will connect the present and future with generations to come. He may not live to see the total results of his labor, but he knows that his labor is not in vain. He has the ability to see significance in work, beyond the obvious. He has a vision, a sense of the bigger picture.
Great leaders must therefore:
- Not only know what to do, but more importantly why
- View the whole, not just its parts
- See the vision- a sense of the bigger picture
- Have the ability to see significance in work- beyond the obvious
- Understand the importance and value of legacy-something that will live beyond the leader, impacting lives and generations.
Which stonecutter are you?