Once there were two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said.
“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother.
“I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.” The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
“I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge… a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all – and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all what I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build.”
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.”
“Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader.”
~John Quincy Adams
Leaders Leading Leaders
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BREAK WITH TRADITION IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE PROGRESS.
LEADERS PUSH BOUNDARIES
People are trained to follow rules from the time they are kids:
- Stand in line.
- Do your homework.
- Put your hand up to ask a question.
Most rules are good because they keep us from living in chaos. And most processes are governed by rules. You drop a brick from a second-story window, and you know it’s going to fall to the ground. You forget to place the order for office supplies, and you run out of staples. It’s simple cause and effect.
Managers often rely on rules to make sure the processes they oversee stay on track. In fact, self-management is basically having the discipline to follow through with the rules you set for yourself. But to move beyond management, you have to learn to think outside the box.
Leaders push boundaries. They desire to find a better way. They want to make improvements. They like to see progress. All these things mean making changes, retiring old rules, inventing new procedures. Leaders are constantly asking, “Why do we do it this way?” and saying, “Let’s try this.” Leaders want to take new territory, and that means crossing boundaries.