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In August 1995, the church I pastored made the decision to do a major renovation on our thirty-five-year-old sanctuary. The first step was to put together a crew of people to do internal demolition. Around forty people showed up to take care of this task.

Dust was everywhere as we ripped up carpet, knocked out walls, tore down ceilings, and dismantled the platform. There were people of all shapes, sizes, and ages. It was a wonderful project for individuals like me because absolutely no skill was needed. It doesn’t take much training to destroy something.

When this phase was completed, the remodeling began. This was the part that required skilled and trained people—those who knew how to construct, build, and refurbish. Their task was much more difficult and it took much longer than the demolition.

Anybody can tear down, but not everyone can build up. It doesn’t take a genius to destroy something, but it does take some know-how to construct something of value. The unskilled can quickly take apart that which takes the skilled a lot of time to put together.

Do you build or demolish? Influential leaders always leave people better than they found them.

Stevenson, P. (2007). 5 Things Anyone Can Do to Lead Effectively (pp. 21–22). Indianapolis, IN: WPH.

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