Let's Build A Bridge

Let’s build a bridge together!
What does it mean to build a bridge? One way to think about this is to improve relationships between people who may be either very different or may not like each other at all. As a leader these things could seem like a daily occurrence, as well as,  challenging or difficult times. However, when we take a step back to see the big picture and work out how to become a bridge builder, it can be a positive and prosperous time for all involved. 
The poem written by Will Allen Dromgoole is a great example of a bridge builder. Some may take it to heart, or even pointless to others; but to us as leaders, we can learn a good amount from it. We are to build bridges, brick by brick, pillar by pillar, expanding and allowing a connection between two places to become one.
Become a construction foreman for a moment! You are now, the one! The supervisor orchestrating the construction of, the bridge. Starting on one side, and prior to setting the first piece in place, there is an exact blueprint to be used, the instruction manual; allowing the foreman to know exactly what needs to be conducted, step by step. Having this will help in the development and overcoming worry about the “how to” way of building a bridge. Additionally, as the foreman, there will be workers (followers) you are leading. They are entrusting you to have the expertise, knowledge, and competence, to put these pieces together. Your confidence in the abilities you possess sets a foundation to show you do not just “walk the walk”, but really know your job is and do it right. 
One thing to remember is others will be watching you. Looking to you for that guidance, even possibly taking what you have for themselves. 
As the bridge finally starts to expand across the distances, I would address a few questions related to my people from start to finish:
Am I focused on the building plan and building my people? 
Is the direction in which I am going directed by my heart or selfish thought?
Am I teaching my followers and leaders to become builders as well?  (Remember you are teaching others to become bridge builders)
OR
Have I become lazy?
Do I care about the ones following me?
Seeing the end result slowly getting closer, where is my heart?
If you only concentrate on how it will benefit you, your direction has the ability to be skewed. 

Do you treasure your people?


Question to ponder: As a leader what is your treasure? Is it the building of the bridge or the experience of leading those along the way making a connection? Or is it the fame you will receive after completing the build when “all eyes are on you”
Building and filling a gap can be an extremely difficult and tedious process, moreover, a leader should understand that not everyone will have the same perspective in how it is being created. It can and will take time. The individuals you are developing may even break out and provide a better way of completing this bridge since their view will not at all be the same as your own. But, this does not take away from where you put your efforts, time, and energy, since the ultimate responsibility is on you, to complete the build. Will you listen to what they have to say?
With this authority, we as leaders must also be sure to be accountable for our position due to the power that it may hold. It is said that our attributes of being diligent and obeying commands are necessary for leaders; and as a watchful faithful leader one will be given even more responsibility and increased the opportunity to give back by using talents, especially if we know and understand what they are. To me this says, if you are good at what you do, and continue to perform well, you will be given even more, by way of opportunity, and control of your future. Are you up for this task?
Building bridges are what we do for others in our lives in all capacities, with or without even knowing sometimes. The “bridge builder” poem speaks about one who has dealt with trials and the overcoming of those trials. Having the prowess to live another moment in life, we grow in our lives, and through the leaders, we are guided by. How are we to know or ensure they (our leaders and followers) have what it takes to face challenge or adversity? I personally like to know that someone who I am following is strong minded and strong willed, being able to see what they may face, taking the challenge head-on, without sway or deterrence. Being transparent is also a great way to see who they really are while building trust, allowing others to build trust with each other. 

I challenge all to become bridge builders, even when others are pushing you to the side and holding you down in life. As you start to overcome, they will be the ones, awaiting your word, to teach them how you did it. 

Be a Bridge Builder Be an Overcomer Here is a list of things that can help in building bridges as a leader.

Be compassionate- This builds trust, creates bonds, keeps peoples internal fire burning
Be simplistic- Your followers should be able to easily understand your efforts and apply their own effort to the end goal
Be Transparent- Share your personal success and failures. As people start to follow you, this can build the confidence of your followers and provide leaders the understanding you are “all in”, and learned from past experiences. 
Be a no limit person (within reason, law, policy, and instruction)- Do not put limits on what you can do.
Be a leader, inspiration, and driver- Push your followers to what they shall be, rather than what they have been. They are greater than they think. 
Explain your purpose- Tell them “why" you are doing what you are doing, so they can “buy in” to your vision and have it become their own.

Expand your awareness- Show others that you will not stop growing in your knowledge or experience, and take on new tasks.