A traveler, walking along a path, came across 3 stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!”
Still no wiser the traveler turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.”
A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveler turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing, replied: “I am building a cathedral.”
This story beautifully illustrates a key leadership quality – seeing the bigger picture. All three stonecutters were doing the same thing, but each gave a very different answer.
Each knew how to do his job, but what was it that set the third stonecutter apart? Perhaps:
• Knowing not just how and what to do, but knowing why
• Viewing the whole and not just its parts
• Seeing a vision, a sense of the bigger picture
• Having the ability to see significance in work beyond the obvious.
• Understanding that a legacy will live on, whether in the stone of a cathedral, or in the impact made on other people.
The question to ask yourself is “Do I see the bigger picture?”