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In Praise of Cranes

Naked Leader Week – 70 – Monday 30 August 2004

Leadership from a different perspective – Cranes

 In Praise of Cranes

I suppose I had never really noticed them before, or taken them for granted. Yes, it must be the latter; after all they are rather tall, colourful with flashing lights.

Taken them for granted – yes, that’s it – as we often do with what serves a purpose, rather than is the purpose itself.

And then, one day, I was walking with a friend, who stopped as we walked along.

“Look” she said “Look up there” and she was pointing at a huge, red crane, and more exactly, at the crane driver/operator/whatever.

“I couldn’t do that” she added, could you?

“Wouldn’t want to,” I gave a typical non answer that avoided her question. And then I thought about her question.

I looked up again, at the driver, at the crane, at the vertical ladder in the middle, at what the crane was doing.

And I then gave a proper reply:

“No, I couldn’t do that”

And we just stood there, two adults staring at a piece of mechanical equipment like through the eyes of a child. Finding beauty, wonder and amazement in something we had each seen many times, but never really seen, least o fall appreciated.

Like the bird from which it takes its name, it was flying, and yet it was grounded. It was graceful as it lifted weights like no other, and soon, as I was to learn later, its base would be concreted into the final building / structure it had played such a part in creating.

How functional, my left brain thought. How fitting, my right brain chipped in.

And how fleeting we treat these moments. When we can. If we so choose, stop and appreciate, and stare, and enjoy, in a completely new light.

Yes, a crane is there to serve a purpose, and how powerful is that, to help others achieve their dreams, quietly, easily, effortlessly.

I would never look at a crane in the same way again. Next time I would really look.

With love to everyone, everywhere




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