The value of Each Brick


Your business may not be a brick and mortar based business, but each brick you use to build your company is incredibly important. Choose your bricks carefully and make sure you choose the right type of brick for each location inside the building and it's purpose. Choosing the wrong type of brick for the wrong application and your entire building will collapse when turbulence happens.

The question that you have to ask about your systems is a complicated one that cannot be solved by a single tool, and cannot be explained by a single conversation. In much the same way that I could explain why my personal sound system that I spent about $10,000 on actually sounds better than the system in the auditorium that I was in last week that cost more than $500,000.

It’s a question of value combined with its use and execution, not cost. Which part of the system is breaking down and why, is a question of heart more than money or skill. There are literally millions of people like me in the world in the sense that there are people who have my skills or understand the language or technologies at play. The difference between average and excellence in the outcome of your systems is one of personal heart, conviction, and passion. Does each person in the chain of systems involved care about why their piece of the system is important. And at the very top of the chain of command, does the person driving the team care about the end result and how each component is performing down the chain of command.

What makes us as Christians fairly decent at accepting this outlook on life and job responsibilities is in our service to God through the lens of Jesus Christ. While he holds the entire universe in the palm of his hand, he still somehow finds it within himself to care about our insignificant lives, and not just the main arch or impact of our lives, but all the little details that make us into who we are. Acts 17:24 says that he made a conscious decision to plan the exact place and time that we might find him. Romans 8 says that the entire universe is groaning in expectation of our appearance as representatives on the stage of our lives. So God cares equally about the big over arching picture, and equally about each and every little detail. And just to make sure that we accept his advise on any subject we might encounter he became a little squishy human just like us, was betrayed and abandoned just like us, and died a death just like we are destined to, well hopefully ours won't be as painful as Jesus', just to be sure we can’t say that he can’t understand our perspective. We in turn must do the same in everything that we do, and when it is pointed out that we are not performing at our best, imitate the heart of God. The reason why David was the heart of God, is that when someone points out that you are not doing what is best or right for everyone, then you feel the pain you’ve inflicted and show it, you apologize to those you’ve wronged, and then you immediately get to the business or correcting the course, not wallowing in pain and sorrow. David was lifted up not because of his perfect behavior but by the depth of his emotions and acceptance of the responsibility of carrying out the role that God assigned him. Even God demonstrated his ability to be moved by the impact on others when Abraham convinced Him not to destroy Sodom, and Moses convinced Him not to destroy the Israelites, not because they were worthy of saving, but because the world needs to know how gracious and patient God really is. So to show everyone the kind of God they serve he shows grace and mercy instead of vengeance and wrath, even when vengeance and wrath are right.

All that to say that it isn’t necessarily the tools, at least that’s not the only problem, it’s the people responsible for those tools, and the empowerment through the inspired vision of the leadership. If the person at the top of the chain of authority is inspired with a plan, and then clearly articulates that plan, and provides the resources necessary to carry out that plan, then the frustrations are only being caused to enlighten the leadership where the weaknesses are. As each part in the path through your business is executed it is affecting the final results, and if that result is not as good as it could or should be, then there is something not performing it's best along the path, and there is a human responsible for that piece of the environment. If you care about the whole picture and end result of your business, then you have to equally care about each part of the chain and deal with any kinks throughout.

Back to my sound system as an example. There are five main components to a sound system, microphone, wire connections, mixing console, speakers and room acoustics. Each piece of that system can be categorized in levels of quality, low mid and high; and purpose, instrument, voice, amplification, live or studio. For example, a microphone can cost $99, $299, $499, $999 and up to $7,999+ and the quality is a combination of features that balance it’s use to it’s components. Just because I spent $7,999 on a microphone doesn’t mean that the singer will sound better if the microphone’s main purpose does not match the application. A recording studio microphone that costs $7,999 will record all the fine details of the human voice from a whisper to an opera tenor or soprano and all the vocal range in between, however in a live performance environment you cannot hear the details because the things that make that microphone sound good in the studio will cause an inordinate amount of feedback noise when amplified through a live sound system, meaning that for the application the $299 microphone is better than the $7,999 microphone when it's a live performance. So when hiring an engineer to design a system or implement a system you have to look for someone who specializes in the specific environment that you are producing, or someone who cares enough to learn about it. And no matter the value you placed on the system if the performer is still a horrible performer, then it doesn’t matter how much you spent on the equipment or the person running the equipment. The same illustration applies to every component in the design of a system. Speakers can range from $99 to $99,999 and mixing consoles can range from $99 to $999,999 but the money doesn’t necessary translate to better quality in every performance and no matter how much money you throw at the problem the end result can never exceed the quality of the talent producing and/or performing.

The bottom line is that an entire system can only be as good as the quality of the team, and it starts at the very top of the chain of authority and becomes better or worse based on the vision and conviction of that person and the quality of the relationships down the chain of command. The value of the resources that are provided for carrying out that vision will match the quality of the vision. This is why the story of Bezalel in Exodus is so important to me. The community gladly provides more than they can find a use for in terms of finances, because the vision was so inspired and well-articulated from the leadership of the community.

So what is the vision in your environment and how is the relationship with those you are putting in positions of authority? If you feel underfunded, then the community does not yet trust your vision and you need to go back and figure out why. If you are funded but lack the vision to get from idea to finished product then find the talent to fill in the void and make sure they understand your passion and share it as well as understand the value of finding the right tools for each piece of the puzzle, remember it's not always about money, but about understanding how and when each tool does the job it's being asked to do.

Vision – money, education or quality of life through improved education? Distinction is important because the why question drives each person in the team by giving them a purpose for why they got out of bed this morning.