Except for a quick $6 Uber ride due to heat and feet, when we were in New York, we took the subway everywhere. It is far more than a mode of transportation; it makes city life possible. Over 8.5 million people could not live and work in a 300 square mile area without the subway as its core infrastructure. I’m sure that with over 800 miles of track, it is a continual, proactive process to keep the trains running and while we were there, many stations had notices about scheduled maintenance and the resulting schedule changes.

The subway is like the trunk of the tree that moves water and nutrients to all of the branches. It transports not only people but many of the resources they require to exist at home and at work. You don’t pay much attention to the trunk until something goes wrong, but without it, energy could not move throughout the tree and grow.

What is the equivalent of a subway in your organization? What transports the essential ingredients for your organizational health? And what care are you taking to maintain it?

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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