Leaders Know How to Build

Gerwig 2015-11-20

Are you skilled with your hands? Some of you can rebuild a car engine. Some of you can make beautiful pieces of furniture. Some of you can sew and do needlepoint. Some of you (though not many) can even successfully complete a home plumbing project. Regardless of your skill level or application, builders receive a sense of satisfaction once their “project” is completed.

Over the last few months, as many of you know, I began grilling more seriously and more often. And I quickly realized that I needed a work table to help facilitate the preparation of food. A table would allow me to stay outside while cutting and seasoning food. I wouldn’t have to constantly run into the kitchen and back outside. A table would allow me to have a flat work space for spices and sauces and drinks and knives and cutting boards and dish towels and grilling utensils. The more I thought about it and the more trips I made to and from the kitchen to the grill on the back deck, the more I realized I could really benefit from a work table. So I decided to build one.

Now I’m not a carpenter or furniture maker by any stretch of the imagination, but I can do the basics: measure, cut, turn screws and drive nails (thanks Dad!). So I built a table. The picture above shows my nearly completed table. Today, it sits proudly on my back deck by the grill ready to brave a New England winter (I used treated lumber so I could keep it outside in the elements). I’ve used it a couple times and it works great. Though not a beauty to look at, it’s a functional table and I’m pleased with the outcome. It has facilitated my grilling and made the experience much more enjoyable.

Building a table (or anything of value) takes time. It takes planning. It takes a certain level of skill. It takes an investment of time or money (or both). But at the completion of the project, there’s a return on investment (ROI). The same is true when it comes to personal/professional development, whether yours or another’s.

World-class leaders know how to build. They know how to identify those with talent. They know how to encourage. They know how to cast a vision of growth. They know how to plan. They know how to make adjustments along the way. World-class leaders are builders. They’re builders of individuals and organizations.

Here are a few things to remember when building:

  1. Prioritize. You can’t build everything at the same time. Decide what you’re going to build first.
  2. (Demonstrate) Patience. Ever hear the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Some projects can be completed in a couple hours, while others might take a couple decades. But nothing of value can be built instantaneously.
  3. Persist. You will likely experience setbacks. Learn from your mistakes and keep pushing forward.

In the end, you’ll enjoy the ROI from your building project. You’ll increase your building skills. And hopefully, you’ll encourage and shape the next generation of builders.

Are you a good builder? Have other builders been involved in your life, in your development? In whom are you building?

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.


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