Perhaps you have heard of the story of Sir Christopher Wren, one of the greatest of English architects, who walked one day unrecognised among the workers who were at work on the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London?
‘What are you doing?’ he enquired of one of the workers – the man replied ‘I am cutting a piece of stone’. As he went on he put the same question to another man; the man replied ‘I am earning five shillings two pence a day’. A third man answered ‘I am helping Sir Christopher Wren to build a beautiful cathedral’. That man had vision. He could see beyond the cutting of the stone, beyond the earning of his daily wage, to the creation of a work of art – the building of a great cathedral.
If we were to ask the same question of all our staff – ‘what are you doing?’ – how would they answer in such a way as to reflect the vision of contributing to a higher purpose in our academy?
I hope they would all say something like, “I am helping to make young people’s futures brighter.” They all should be reminded that all efforts of every single member of staff are valued and crucial to our higher purpose. This is the ‘why’ of what we do and it is always important to check this out to make sure each and every action directly impacts on the overall ‘why’. Rehearsing the ‘why’ in moments of tiredness, low energy, confusion or disappointment can help to find the resources to carry on in that pursuit.