The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Doing or enabling

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, and assign them tasks and work, instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

But, what do you do once you yearn for the vast and endless sea and have a team who is following you?

Well, it’s the same process. You still have the choice to tell them what to do or to teach them how they can contribute to the shared dream. But now you have a shared dream and it has become an important part of your communication. Everything the team will do or learn can bring you all a step towards what you are yearning for.

If you decide to tell them what to do, they may become good at executing what you ask for. But you need to pay attention to what you ask for. Whatever happens, may become your responsibility.

If you decide to teach them, they will make errors on the way and you’ll have to keep the spirit high as well as deal with the result of your teaching. But in the long run, you may have built a team that knows how to move together in the desired direction. If so they believe in being responsible.

It’s a choice. Not necessarily one that leads to a right or wrong decision.

The outcome is a result of the process.


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