Friday, October 16, 2009

Blocks, Scaffolding and Rocks

During my time in the restaurant business; I managed with the mindset, "people are our greatest assets."
After all, buildings become outdated, tools need revamping, equipment breaks down; but people, people can learn, grow, bend, and adapt. People are our greatest assets.

Then along comes, Jim Collins with his book, "Good to Great" where he expounds on the thought with the "First Who then What" principle and explains that people are not our greatest assets---the RIGHT people are and furthermore the right people in the right spot.
At first glance this sounds like a heartless and even manipulative statement. But I've discovered it's mainly heartless and manipulative leaders who think that; because they interpret out of how they see. (Every one's toes okay? Whew good, I know that wasn't for anyone reading this anyway)

It's true. While we as leaders want everyone to run with the vision, the truth is not everyone will.
I've discovered there are three types of people who run with vision you have.
1. People who run with you.
2. People who don't run with you but hang out for the after party.
3. People who run with you for a while, then change tracks.

I love how my friend, Barry Morton, who church planted four years ago, puts it (as he quotes a mentor of his)
"Some people are like scaffolding; they're important and valuable for the beginning stages of the building, but eventually have to come down."

This is important to know when building, because some simply won't go the distance. They will find something "that needs their help" or "is just getting started"---and they will go.
Don't get discouraged with "scaffolding people."

In building; rocks, blocks and scaffolding all have their place. It's important to know what their place is and allow them to contribute to the level they can.

Getting the right people in the right spot makes all the difference as you lead with vision.


  1. The old saying "what you see is what you get" has two meanings. If all we choose to see is the negative, then all we will find is the negative. Good leaders will find balance in their expectations. They should always look to fix what needs improvement, all the while focusing on what is working correctly. If leaders no longer focus on what is working, there is no way it can continue to work or improve or evolve.
    And yes, we have to look at who is running with us and not expect them to finish the race with us if they feel they are part of a relay team. Maybe they are!

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