Acres of Diamonds – A Leadership Strategy

Midmarket companies often struggle when they begin to consider expansion or organization changes that require a change in the leadership structure.  One leadership strategy to consider is to scour the market to find just the right person. But before you pay a headhunter the 25% fee of a new hires’ salary, consider a hard look inside your company, as illustrated in a story told by the nineteenth century Baptist minister Russell Conwell.

He dreamt of establishing Temple University although he didn’t have any money.  He didn’t let his financial reality dictate his situation, encouraging himself and others with a motivational speech about a man who desired wealth so badly that he sold all his property, left his family, and set out on a lifelong, futile journey to find diamonds. He spent the rest of his years searching for something he never found because, as Conwell tells us, he didn’t know where to look.

Just after the man sold his farm, the new owner led his camel to water in the small river at the edge of the property. As the camel drank from the stream, the new owner noticed a flash of light coming from the bottom of the river. He knelt down and picked up what turned out to be a large diamond. After digging further, he discovered a whole mine.

The man who left his family, home, and everything behind to look elsewhere for diamonds would have found them in his backyard if only he had stopped to look.  You may be able find the diamonds in your company too.

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