The Taj Mahal is an enormous mausoleum complex commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife.
Built over a 20-year period on the bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal symbolises grace and perfection of proportions and grandeur of geometrical patterns.
There is a story that one day Shah Jahan wanted to know how the Taj Mahal was progressing.
To do this, he disguised himself as an old man and went to the site. He met a stonecutter and asked: “What are you doing?” The stonecutter was annoyed by the disturbance and said: “Go away old man don’t you see that I am busy?” The stonecutter’s dedication impressed the emperor.
He moved on and went to the next stonecutter, and he asked the same question. The second stonecutter was equally impatient and said: “Cutting stone is a great art, old man, I can’t be answering your questions and practising my art.”
Again, the emperor was impressed with the stonecutter and was proud of his professional skills. Finally, he went to the third stonecutter, to whom he put the same question.
“I am building the Taj Mahal, old man, and if I keep answering idle questions like yours I will never be able to complete the most beautiful monument on earth.”
The third stonecutter had given him the best answer. The first worker represented dedication to work — an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The second one showed professional excellence. But the third one symbolised the power of a shared vision.
As effective leaders model the way to challenge the status quo, inspire their team and facilitate them to perform; here are four insights they operate on.
When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. An effective leader helps in creating an environment of co-operation where individual skills and strengths contribute towards a common shared goal.
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships, so said Michael Jordan. It’s one thing to join a team and another to perform in a team.
An effective leader aligns individual goals to team goals and walks them in the path of shared vision. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success, said Henry Ford.
Two heads are better than one. When complementary strengths of teams are blended, and a sense of trust is created, teams engage towards better ownership. Ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up, said Oliver Wendell Holmes. When teams feel the power of the shared vision, they create innovative ways to stay aligned and exchange ideas and knowledge.