I’ve been watching a lot of National Geographic during my workouts. I distract myself from the monotony of the elliptical with colorful, narrated videos of places I’ve never been. While burning 200 calories the other day, I discovered the beauty and mysteries of the Machu Picchu ruins. This ancient Peruvian city sets atop a steep and jagged mountain and once served as home to 1200 Incas.* As with many ancient structures, we must marvel at the architectural genius.
The elevation of this 570-year-old treasure is almost 8000 feet above sea level and nestled between two fault lines. Even today, it can get more than 6 inches of rain in one month. The structures are fashioned “without mortar, the stones fit so tightly together that not even a knife’s blade [can] fit between them.” The incredible foundation, of which, only 40% can be seen above ground, survives earthquakes and torrential rain fall. Stones simply bounce during tremors and, at one time, channeled rain water for drinking and agriculture.
As I head into the final third of my workout, I am reminded of the importance of foundation in our work and how it:
- Remains Mostly Hidden: Our foundation is somewhat private or buried. The way we process action items or respond to surprises is deeply rooted. The values and beliefs from which we operate are so stable, they are often forgotten. How are your foundational values and beliefs reinforcing you? How are they unsupportive?
- Survives Intense Turmoil: Our foundation or default operating mode must endure the everyday tremors and unexpected quakes. The impact of seismic activity at the office varies from burnt popcorn to staff reductions. What creates disorder, confusion, mayhem in your day? How can you minimize or eliminate these distractions? Any patterns?
- Serves Great Purpose: Our foundation includes our routines, systems, processes, time management style, paper management strategy, work/life balance, etc. All of which quietly support our goals and set us up for success. What needs tweaking?
Unlike Machu Picchu, which, in 2007 was recognized as the seventh wonder of the world, our foundation will not get much attention. I am not suggesting your foundation be award-winning, but each stone should be carefully measured, cut, and set (or replaced).
(Unfortunately, I just made a deal with a dear friend to get back to strength training every other day, limiting my discoveries of ancient cities, shipwrecks, and dark matter on the National Geographic channel. But, I plan to be rockin’ the biceps this summer!)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 21 years.