Construction Sites Are Messy Places

August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Four lane road is down to one lane. Dust flying everywhere. Jackhammers hammering. Trucks so big they could roll over monster trucks. Massive pieces of ashphalt lying on what is left of the street. Car horns blaring, drivers becoming unglued at the slowdown.

Leadership takes time; construction is okay.Amidst all of this, something old, worn-out, maybe even unsafe is being removed, and something new is being created.  Although, at this point, it’s hard to see the new creation. But, someone on that site has the plan. Someone has the vision to see through the mess and know what this will ulimately look like, how it will work,  and, most importantly why it had to be done in the first place.

Leadership is constant through those crucible moments when the plan is unfinished, the vision feeling like it’s being plowed over by a PeterBuilt backhow, people maybe even becoming unglued. I am convinced that the role of the leader in these situations is to simply remind people that construction sites are messy places. The new road can’t be built in a few hours or even a few days. The new intitiative that has never been tried before, the launch of a new way of doing things, the removal of dearly-held belief systems and replacing them with new ones that fit a new culture, these are all things that a leader must keep his or her eye on and celebrate the little victories as the road gets a new foundation of limestone rock.

And then the fresh ashphalt is poured. Jackhammers are put away. And new white lines painted. And traffic flows in a way that no one ever though it could.

Except you.

You knew.

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