I recently attended an event at a facility that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As a result, the building had an exhibit about Wright and some of his other works and the gift shop sold a host of items inspired by Wright’s designs.

The architect is certainly known for his distinctive style that graces many residences and public buildings. He designed over 500 buildings and many of his recognizable works were on display. But the piece that caught my attention was a simple postcard with a picture of his colored pencils, all laid out on his desk as they were on the day of his death.

To me, the pencils were a tactic representation of Wright’s genius. A casual bystander might think they were the tools of a kindergartener, not a master architect. It shows that it was not the sophistication of his equipment that made Wright powerful, rather how he translated the congruity from simple tool to minimalistic architecture to create greatness.

We might have moments where we think we can’t produce wonder because we don’t have the right ____. We may think that we need more equipment or more technology or more gizmos. Wright is an example that it is the sophistication of what is within, not the glitz of what is external, that makes something masterful.

When you are stuck, think about Wright’s simple lineup of pencils and see if you can’t create something great with what you have before you.

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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