As an avid reader I felt compelled to share with you this diamond in the rough article from the Harvard Business School (HBS). As you will witness it is worthy of sharing as it provides some valuable insights for all of us who work in today's challenging business environment. Coincidentally, this business parable takes its focus from one of CDRG RedTeam's core operations
- Property Restoration
As the story goes, many years ago a man approached a restoration site and came across three stonecutters. Politely he asked them what they were doing. The first replied, "I'm making a living." The second stopped hammering and replied, "I'm doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country." And the third stonecutter paused for a brief moment and replied with pride, "I'm building a cathedral." Three men doing the same task - three men with three different views of their work, themselves and their contributions. It's easy to observe that the first stonecutter is committed to simply doing a day's work for a day's pay. His work, the purpose of his work and the context of his work do not matter. The second stonecutter has set much higher aspirations. He/she wants to be the best. We know this type of person - bright, highly trained, educated, driven, individualistic, yet a team player, competitive and knowledgeable, one who measures themselves to be the best in the country - maybe even the world. It's this type of person who contributes significantly to the success of organizations - they are key performers. Yet, somehow the second stonecutter hasn't fully developed - perhaps being more interested in the task, in the competition, in the measurement of being an individual with a highly focused goal.
The third stonecutter has expressed a broader vision.
The use of the word 'cathedral' speaks to a larger mission, perhaps more spiritual with an enhanced scope - a mission that transcends bricks and mortar, contributing to a structure that unites past and present - to be part of something far larger than oneself. So what is the meaning of this parable? How does it affect us here at the CDRG RedTeam or our partners, clients and members? After all, every organization has its stonecutters. The world's recent economic crisis was a result of a widespread systematic breakdown that was brought about by the inability of many to take action – who chose the easy road and simply went with the flow knowing it was wrong, knowing that there were serious downstream consequences and ultimately the failure by many to accept responsibility. As we all know, the house of cards fell with devastating results. Harvard Magazine believes this came about from a lack of vision and a failure to acknowledge and understand that one's 'stonecutting' is inescapably part of a larger project - a world today defined by global markets – a world without boundaries - a world where we are indeed bound together - a world where a financial crisis can bankrupt nations or see major corporations fall in a flash of a moment.
At its core, this parable is about responsibility. The third stonecutter reminds us that the individual is not enough, that wanting to make a difference in the world isn't good enough - wanting and making a difference for the world is the new CDRG RedTeam. We at the new CDRG RedTeam will seek to be like that third stonecutter. We ask that everyone in our network raise their sights, acknowledge that we are all part of a bigger picture and that we are all interconnected across communities, time zones and space. We ask our team members to respect hands on experience, embrace change and be prepared to make a difference for our clients and for the world. That's in keeping with our corporate vision: "Changing the industry by Storm."
Founding member of the CDRG
"The future is yours to grasp, the opportunity to move forward is being presented, the decision is yours, but the true measure of success is not measured by those who stand by watching those who succeed!"