Recently someone asked me my opinion on whether or not I thought a plot of solar panels would be ugly.  He described how these panels would be located along a hillside at the end of a subdivision and would generate the energy to power city facilities.

My reply was that he was asking the wrong question.

If we judged all of our necessary infrastructure on aesthetics, we would not have the equipment to function as we do.  If someone asked: “Do you think power poles or water towers are ugly?” the answer would unequivocally be “yes.”  But they are essential, so we have them, and for the most part, they blend into the background and we don’t even notice them.

The same could be said for fire hydrants, electric boxes, dumpsters, sewer drains, telephone lines and more. The question isn’t about beauty; it is about functionality and efficiency.  If solar is the best way to power the buildings, then the panels should be installed.  “Ugly” will be forgotten soon enough and the panels will become invisible to the conscious eye.

How you frame your question will determine the answer you receive.  As we learned from yesterday’s blog, ask the right question to receive a more powerful answer.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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