When constructing a stick built house, a contractor arrives on location with many tools. Saws, drills, ladders and nail-guns make up an important part of the builder’s inventory. The contractor has a copy of the blueprints as well as the required permits to begin construction. Even though the contractor has tools, permits and blueprints, no house will be built until there is some lumber delivered to the job site. The contractor can have great knowledge, education and years of experience, but without lumber, there will be no house.
There are many types of lumber: rough cut, finished lumber, treated lumber and more. There are 1 x 3s, 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s and more. Lumber is cut and sold in numerous lengths. Though there are many types, sizes and lengths of lumber, one thing is for sure: no house will be built without it.
Leaders must make sure they are not going to the job site without the proper lumber. Different construction jobs require different sizes or types of lumber. Leadership is no different. One leader may be working in a transitional setting while another is leading transformation. Another leader may be at work during a time of extreme crisis. But all three of them need to have a clear vision of the future and know where they are going. Not knowing where you are going and being without a clear picture of the future is like trying to build a house without lumber. Good leaders have a clear picture of the future. That is what we call vision. This vision is what I call “leadership lumber.” It is the most important material in leading others forward. Before you begin the task of leading, make sure your job site has the proper type, size and length of leadership lumber.