The exterior of the state capitol building in Arkansas is not going to make the list as one of the Top Ten Most Beautiful, but it does have impressive doors.  Six 10-feet-tall bronze doors from Tiffany adorn what used to serve as the main entrance.  Now, visitors must go under the portico and enter in a dingy little doorway in the basement so that everyone can be funneled through a narrow corridor and be security scanned.  As a result, these beautiful doors are for show only, and go unused even though they require daily hand-polishing to keep their luster.  These doors have been polished every day since they were purchased in 1910, a seemingly huge waste of money for what Mr. Womack described as a “poor state.”

Couldn’t the state replace four of the six doors and leave just the middle ones with bronze?  Or leave the interior side to tarnish for a week since rarely anyone sees them?  Perhaps they could reconfigure the security set-up and actually use them if they are to remain?

Does your organization have the equivalent of bronze doors — something that is a resource drain, but is kept on just for show?  Is it really necessary or are there better uses of your time and assets?

Look around and see if there aren’t vestiges of something that made sense at one time, but  has outlived its usefulness.  What once was symbolic with one meaning may serve as even stronger symbol for change if you take steps to replace it.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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