A new bypass highway just opened after decades of planning. It is surrounded by pristine countryside, void of all commercial development and even housing. I’m sure it won’t remain that way for long, but for now, it provides the prettiest drive in town.

The Economic Development folks are bragging that it will impact the city for decades, but they only expound the positives. I think about the farmhouses that used to be isolated which now find themselves on a major highway. I worry about all the businesses that will be hurt by the diverted traffic, as they find their once-prime location now off the beaten path. I wonder what tourism will be lost as vehicles zip around the city instead of through it, seeing the great River and downtown.

I’m also sure new opportunities will abound as subdivisions and shopping areas grow near the exits. The highway will save time and lessen congestion. People will stop using the “unofficial bypass” as they no longer cut through residential neighborhoods to get from one end of the city to the other. As with most things, there is an upside as well as a down.

As you contemplate major projects of your own, don’t get seduced by looking only at the benefits. You may decide that the price you pay is worth it, but remember that all good things come with a cost.


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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