Foundations of Leadership

If you walk around New York City, Chicago, or San Diego, it’s a given that you’re going to see a lot of tall buildings. But the only ones which qualify as skyscrapers must be at least 50 stories and over 330 feet tall. Otherwise, you’re just a “super tall” building.

The largest building on the planet today is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which reaches 2,717 feet. The foundation for this architectural monster is over 200 feet deep. Because otherwise… well, it falls over.

When builders begin to build skyscrapers, or any building for that matter, they don’t build up first… they build down. They must first excavate tons of dirt, rocks, and debris to reach a solid enough place, often bedrock, to begin building the deep foundation that will support a structure that can safely reach for the sky.

The same is true of us. Before we can build companies and teams that reach for the sky, we must first build down to the bedrock foundations that can withstand the winds of change and storms of business. We must strengthen our core so that what the public and our clients see is solid and stable. We must develop and secure our own foundations.

It’s not always easy to do… all that digging. But, it’s worth it. It took the construction team over one year just to secure the foundation of the tallest building. It’s worth some time for all leaders to unearth what they stand for, what’s standing in their way, what their vision is for the future of their company, and what is their “why.” It’s all part of a story structure that, once told well to the people on your team, is repeatable and sustainable for them to communicate to your market and customers.

This week, do some digging. Make sure your team knows and can easily articulate your company’s story of why it started, what drives its efforts, what makes it unique, and what it dreams of accomplishing. Unearth the roadblocks that are in your way and uncover the resources you need to bulldoze through them.

At LionSpeak, we’re here if you need us… ready and willing to help you build a skyscraper of a business with a strong foundation that reaches the stars. Consider attending our Leaders of the Pride workshop in San Diego on March 1-2. We’ll give you $200 off if you register before January 31st. Just use discount code JAN200 at checkout.

And, don’t wait too long. Just like the Burj Khalifa, no one holds a record forever. In April 2013, construction began on a building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, called the Jeddah Tower that will top out around 3,307 feet sometime around 2020. That’s nearly twice as tall as the One World Trade Center which was North America’s tallest skyscraper and almost 600 feet taller than the current world record.

Don’t let your competition pass you up with a stronger foundation capable of supporting a bigger dream. Do the dirty work first, and then sit back and enjoy the view.


“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending.
You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

~~Saint Augustine

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