On the reason - Joshua Tree Leadership

On the reason

One of more important objectives that leaders face is the removal of obstacles. Occasionally these obstacles present themselves as third rails, and for some there is nothing more gratifying that eliminating dogmas encircled with, “this is how things have always been done”. True enough, but before tearing out the offensive obstruction, the thoughtful leader must answer the question, why was it there in the first place?

Looking back through history, a method of understanding this contradiction has been offered up, and although the concept falls within the context of a theological debate, it does seem to address the heart of the matter:

“…let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.” 

(Chesterton, Gilbert K. The Thing: Essays)

In short, the premise asks for thoughtfulness, working on, versus working in, and if done right, doing so to prevent unintended consequences.

– RdM

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