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What I'm reading

Bricks, a Wall or an Incredible Cathedral?

 August 4, 2020

By  Jonathan Biles

Sinek over the past few chapters discussed motivation, but this section about bricks takes the cake; at least in my opinion. Let me know what you think. Through my project management days at SEL, there was a common theme that we never had all the right answers or pieces to the puzzle at the beginning of the project.

Often times, during the first meeting, we were assigning roles and didn’t even have a picture of what the end result would be that lead us to success. As the projects advanced, we slowly built the solution one piece at a time. This was not always satisfactory for my teammates. Sometimes the solution was too big for them to see and focusing on each tiny piece was too much. Too many bricks in their faces was often discouraging.

Bricks may be important, but not the image of success

The projects that lead to disaster were often because I failed to shift the focus of the team off the bricks and give them an adequate picture of the final goal. Sinek says that if we can motivate our team to see the end result, or the cathedral, then the bricks are not longer bricks, but they are simply a piece of the overall goal.

Just before I left SEL, they started a program that helps assemblers understand the big picture and not focus on the bricks. Their idea is brilliant. Through training, emails, and sharing customer stories, assemblers were empowered and began to see the cathedral before them instead of the mundane daily tasks.

Real life application

Let’s talk about your team. Many managers worry that if they show their team the final goal, the team will lose sight of the day to day and try to shoot the moon and finish the project. That fear is real, but can stunt a team and completely destroy their motivation. The trick is to show them the cathedral, but focus on the quality of the individual. If they can draw a line from their daily work to the end result, then you have the magic equation necessary to keep your team motivated.

Are you reading along with me? I would love to know. Send me a message and we can discuss the chapters further as we go down this journey of discovery.


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About the author 

Jonathan Biles

Jonathan Biles is a well-respected writer of fiction stories across the globe. He has worked with multiple publishing entities from print newspaper to Amazon Kindle. With a degree from The University of Idaho and print experience with Texas Tech University, he is sought after as a feature writer amongst his peer group. His readers rate him as a 5-star author and has won awards from Columbia University. As an author, he can transport you from daily chaos to worlds and adventures sure to entertain through his vivid imagery.

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