Do you want to be
a Brick Layer or a Cathedral Builder?
You want no less for your Company than for it to become a cathedral within your market. One way to get there is to desire no less for each member of your team than to feel like Cathedral Builders.
Throughout an organization, we all have our immediate tasks to deliver, our ongoing jobs to perform, and our endless dependencies on others to create something great as a Company. It’s easy to lose site of our personal and collective purpose at “work.”
We work within large companies and organizations to help team members feel connected and empowered by their work so that they don’t lose the reason why they are doing what they are doing.
There are three masons at the side of the road. If you ask each what they do for a living, imagine three different answers:
The first replies that he “lays bricks.”
The second says that he is “the best brick layer in his country.”
The third responds, “I am building a cathedral.”
Poor managers can take Cathedral Builders and make them Brick Layers and excellent managers can take Brick Layers and make them Cathedral Builders.
It’s not uncommon for senior executives to feel that “sometimes we just need Brick Layers.”
It is true that often within any size organization you need team members at all levels to be laser focused on one thing in order to accomplish their tasks, but the question is what motivates the team members to accomplish their tasks?
If it’s merely because a demand was made by their manager, good employees are likely to do the job, but their hearts won’t be in it. If their hearts aren’t in it, then their productivity won’t be maximized. If their productivity is not maximized, the bottom line won’t be as strong as it could be and the likelihood that the team members will stay in their jobs is reduced significantly.
For-profit corporations of all sizes should empower Cathedral Builders at every level of their organization because it means that those employees are tethered to a higher calling than just (fill in the blank) for their employer. But if the corporation needs justification to create Cathedral Builders, then such justification comes from the increased productivity brought by Cathedral Builders, which ultimately leads to a stronger bottom line and a much happier working team.
Our goal with large corporations is to help them find the way to create Cathedral Builders throughout their organization, always making their employees’ welfare as well as their customers the most important thing a successful company can value.
As the parable states, suppose for a moment we are the stone masons: Some days it feels like we are just hammering away at stone on a job site. Other days we may be lovingly chiseling stone to build a significant foundation or a fancy facade. On our best days though, we can feel like we are building a cathedral. (In all three cases, we may even be performing the exact same task!) The more we get in touch with that “cathedral builder” and express it in the most contagious way, the more meaning, joy and craftsmanship we will bring to ourselves and our colleagues. It is nothing more than a mindset.