Part of my construction detour involves back roads with a one-lane bridge. I imagine that the bridge was initially installed for tractors or even horses with buggies and no one has felt it warranted the expense of upgrading it after all these years.

Bridges are the trickiest part of building a road. They cost the most to construct and present the greatest design challenges for engineers as it is difficult to span a gap and create a seamless interface with two opposing sides.

I think the same is true in organizations. Bridge-building among colleagues is often the most stressful and time-consuming part of a task. Creating relationships when there are opposing views necessitates delicate maneuvering and often requires great energy and patience. But just as a highway bridge can save miles of driving, a solid work connection can make things much easier on the organizational journey.

Building a one-lane bridge is an economical solution for a low traffic road, but it doesn’t work for organizations. Bridges need to allow for two-way communication and mutual understanding. On-going attention must be paid to ensure their stability.

Think about the organizational road on which you are traveling. Does it have a modern bridge, a one-lane crossing or are you just staying on your own side without reaching out to others? Bridge building may not be easy, but the benefits of a two-lane exchange span the entire organization.

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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