I have a new neighbor – who is installing a new pool – which requires the installation of a new section of fence to replace my adjoining chain link with a regulation height barrier. The men who were here yesterday to do the job not only installed the new fence section but spent a considerable amount of time realigning the existing fencing so that it all was even.

Their company did not install the original fence, but they took the time to improve it. No one remembers who did the initial work, but the current contractor’s reputation is what would be tarnished if the new work looked shoddy for whatever reason. One section installed correctly becomes invisible if the surrounding sections are out of kilter — so they did the entire fence as it should be done.

Do you have similar pride in your work or do you focus only on the piece that is “yours”? Take a lesson from the fence installers and embrace a larger view of your duties. Even if you technically only have responsibility for a section, your integrity is judged on the whole.

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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