Leadership is Built One Brick at a Time


Building with bricks is not something we do lightly.

The strength and integrity of a brick wall depends on working well, not necessarily quickly. Each brick relies on the other bricks around it, especially those that went before it. Each brick must be placed exactly where it belongs and joined to the others around it. While each one is important, but no single brick can be a complete wall on its own.

Choosing bricks, mixing mortar, and fitting each one into place are each important to building a good wall.

A strong wall is built one brick at a time.

When we look at our wall, we can see where we have done well and where we could have done better work.

Parts of my wall look traditional, with straight lines and right angles. Parts of my wall look like I was learning.

My wall includes some very creative twists and turns. There are places where it appears I did not have much of a plan. Some of those places are the most beautiful parts of my wall, some are not.

There are places where my wall  appears to fade away or just disappear. It looks like there were times when I got tired or discouraged or overwhelmed and stopped building. I have been able to go back and convert some of those places into ornate, beautiful gates.

It is encouraging to remember that we are building brick by brick, one brick at a time. I may expect myself to know every answer or have a plan that anticipates every challenge. The essential step is to build one brick at a time, finding the place where each brick fits.

Take your time and build the wall you have the potential to build.

What kind of leadership wall are you building?

Where will you place your next brick today?

[Image by marc falardeau]

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  • http://ca.linkedin.com/in/mlapointe1/ Michael Lapointe

    I like your analogy of leadership development. I too am building my leadership. You see in the recent past … somebody threw a figurative grenade into my inner house (my soul) and blew out all my windows. I was naive to think that everybody lead with honesty, humility and good intentions. To put one’s faith in a leader that do not lead honestly can be a very treacherous journey with many pitfalls. You truly have to be aware of what is going around you. Suffice to say that my house was hollowed out. This can be a good thing. Perhaps the house needed renovation anyways. The foundations of my soul survived. Now I look for positive realistic thought leaders to help me build myself into a leader that will inspire and motivate people through humility, empathy, respect and trust. I see this blog as one of my bricks :)

    • Strategic Monk

      Thank you, Michael.

      Yes. There are ways in which other people may help “rearrange” the bricks in our walls. We may never be able to rebuild to make our work exactly the way it was before, though we may find our walls stronger for experience.

  • http://mapline.com Margaux Dela Cruz (@Margaux_Dela)

    This is very encouraging! There were also times that I just felt that the wall I was building was not beautiful enough. When I moved near and really check every brick, I saw scratches. And it made me remember that as a leader, building a wall means sacrifices. Not just sacrifices as a leader but I also thanked the team who held up each brick with their sacrifices as well. I completely understood that the scratches on the bricks were what made the wall so beautiful.

  • Strategic Monk

    Thank you, Margaux!

    Yes, and the scratches also provide places where thing can grow. I see walls in which plants have taken root, protected from challenges.

    Our wall may inspire someone else to begin.