(1 minute read)

In his bestselling book, ‘The Practice of Management’, Peter Drucker – a revered Management Consultant – shares the story of three stonecutters to illustrate the importance of connecting our role with our goal.

A man stumbles upon three stonecutters. He stops and asks each one what he is doing.

The first stonecutter stops working and claims, “I’m cutting stones. It’s my job. I’m making a living.”

The second stonecutter keeps hammering and says, “I’m cutting and preparing the best-crafted stones in the country.”

The third stonecutter wipes his brow and points to a cleared area of land nearby and declares, “I am building a cathedral.”

Drucker’s use of the stonecutter’s approach to their respective roles as a metaphor for having a larger vison or purpose is as meaningful today as when he published his book in 1954.

Most of what we see – in anyone – is their productivity, or results. We rarely get to see their purpose. Yet, it is the purpose, or inner drive, which acts as the fuel for achieving the results we all strive to achieve. Without a meaningful purpose, we can fall into the lament of the first stonecutter – “I’m just doing my job.”

The key step in any goal-setting plan for individuals and organisations should be, ‘What’s our Purpose?’


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