Construction projects are fascinating. I’m a guy and like many can watch a construction site for quite a while and see what’s going on, even though I have nothing to do with the industry.
I was sitting in a coffee shop about halfway up one of the many towering office buildings in Dallas, Texas and out the window watched a construction project in action. One of the tall tower cranes was working. Since I was inside, I couldn’t hear anything, I could just see it work.
Equipping and Supplying the Project
Sleekly and silently the crane would swing around counter-clockwise and then stop. The cable and hook would lower all the way to the ground. Someone would attach some heavy machinery or a large metal bin to the hook and then signal. The hook would raise with its payload to about 5 stories high. Then, the crane would swing around clockwise, again silent and sleek, until it was over top of the building in progress. Then, cable, hook, and payload would lower the top floor of the building and deliver it’s cargo.
These cranes serve a very necessary and distinct purpose on these multi-story projects. Without one, carrying all the equipment and material up to the top levels becomes a very unwieldy and time-consuming project. So the crane helps everyone work more efficiently and effectively and saves the company time and money while increasing productivity.
The Leader as Tower Crane
Leaders serve similar roles. Good leaders often go about their work silently and smoothly, looking for where they can help others be more effective and productive by equipping them and supplying them with what they need. A good leader serves a very necessary purpose and if they are truly effective, their work is critical because they increase productivity, save time and money, and do things no one else can do.
[snaptweet]Great leaders do the things that no one else can do.[/snaptweet]
Lonely At the Top?
BTW, years ago I read a news story about those tower crane operators. They are usually stuck up there for hours, since climbing up an down can be very time-consuming and tiresome. As a result, they take of all their functions up there; eating, toilet, etc. The crane operator remarked that you can feel very isolated and even a little lonely up there on many an occasion.
Leadership is a role that can often make you feel isolated and lonely, especially if your leadership becomes more managerial instead of empowering. To prevent that, spend more time equipping and empowering your people. Even more so, spend time growing other leaders so you don’t feel so lonely at the top.