This is the story of the three stonecutters :
«One day a traveller, walking along a lane, came across 3 stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser the traveler turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.” A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveler turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: “I am building a cathedral.”
On a professional level, this speaks about leadership and alignment. Leaders are here to provide the vision, that is the cathedral, which the company, the teams and organizations are here to build. And it is important for each individual to understand the cathedral he (or she) is building as well as his role (alignment, strategic role) in the building of the cathedral.
In today’s corporate worlds, it is easy to keep busy ! Our «To Do» lists never really stop to grow. Therefore, keeping that strategic direction and goal is increasingly important. And ultimately, it is about purpose and joy. Knowing its contribution to the bigger picture keeps us joyful, engaged and motivated. Contributing to others and having a strong sense of purpose are two of the most important needs every human being strives to fulfill. And in our jobs, our level of performance will increased as a result.
And guess what, the same is true of our lives ! I truly believe we are all here to build a cathedral. It could be a cathedral of our own, the cathedral of a community, or of a family. But we are all here to build cathedrals. The day we are clear on the cathedral we are here to build, nothing can stop us. Call it life purpose, personal mission or vision. Once aligned with our purpose, actions take place, joy support us effortlessly and others get inspired too in the process !
I will write later on how best to be clear about the actual cathedral we are here to build, but asking yourself the question «what is the cathedral I want to build» will get you started and create an opening within you!
All the best, dear stonecutter friend !