The Leader as Architect

Jim Rohn writes: “Whatever good things we build end up building us.” A friend shared a story which captures the role of great leaders as architects of their magnificent lives.

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes butin time, it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

This simple story is a gentle reminder to great leaders: Each day, in each act, word and thought, we choose to build our life, the home in which we will live. Magical castles, grandiose and elegant structures,  impervious fortresses or simple abodes – whatever our selection, the choice is in our hands at each moment. As the story writer tells us: “Each day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall. ‘Life is a do-it-yourself project.’ Your attitudes and choices you make today build the “house” you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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3 Responses to The Leader as Architect

  1. Francine Ling says:

    Thank you for your posts! Love this one.

  2. Sandy Rutherford says:

    Wonderful! And further to this, we are the mental architects of our own destinies. Choose wisely the thoughts you entertain throughout the day for you become what you think about all day long. The house you build is truly in your hands (and mind)! Have an awesome and positive week!

  3. Jack Beach says:

    Mike, as you point out “Each day, in each act, word and thought, we choose to build our life, the home in which we will live.” But your message also tells us that leaders, and any of us, should always be asking, “Why am I doing this?” Our time and other resources are too scarce to spend on things that are not important. Perhaps even more to the point, the carpenter in your story “resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.” And why did he do this? It was not because he lacked the skills or resources but because “his heart was not in his work.” This tells us that leadership is not so much about technique, knowledge, or expertise—though these are not without value, but about the heart and what inspires us, and enables us to enliven others, to put in the effort necessary to create things that are magical and magnificent. Thanks Mike

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