Rocks, Elephants and Organizational Success

Legend tells of a famous sculptor in India who was asked how he could create the shape of a magnificent elephant from a piece of stone. The sculptor replied, " It's easy. I simply cut away everything that doesn't look like an elephant."

How willing are we - like the sculptor - to cut away the stone that doesn't suit our desired outcome? To remove the things that hinder our organizations from looking like a brilliant work resulting from passion and vision?

We often hesitate - and even refuse - to deal with the issues and shortcomings that hold back our organizations. These obvious "elephants in the room" are those concerns left unaddressed because of the discomfort and inconvenience they cause.

Typically ignored, delayed or even put off for the lifetime of the organization are proactive affronts on...

    uncommitted and disinterested board members, clearly demonstrating these qualities by their lack of involvement

    incessant talking and planning around urgent yet unimportant concerns, rather than an ongoing focus on the meaningful and relevant

    long-term retention of the wrong executive or other staff, allowing such persons to stick around until they decide to leave

    fundraising and other financial concerns, opting instead for monthly hand-wringing and other unhelpful discussion

    wasted time, due to ineffectively managed and poorly organized meetings

    ethical "slippage" in the decisions and actions of the organization.

If we are to have the kinds of organizations that we dream of - those that achieve works worthy of the sculptor's pride - we must cut away the unnecessary and the negative. While, in rare cases, these stones in the road are unknown to us, we usually are well aware of their origin and, unfortunately, are willing to live with their repeatedly disappointing results.

Today I challenge you to pick up a chisel and remove your organization's self-imposed encumbrances. Become an inspiration to others by dealing with the unpleasant and inconvenient. "Begin with the end in mind" to create and maintain your magnificent work!

Strong Leaders / Strong Stories

Strong leaders have strong stories, and a solid sense of "self" as a leader.  But too often, even strong women view themselves or are perceived as being very good at "getting things done," but not as valuable strategic resources. What can you do to change this?  Find Out More Here