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Published:March 19th, 2008 19:37 EST
Is Your Foundation Strong Enough?

Is Your Foundation Strong Enough?

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

Did you know that a skyscraper is supported by a concrete frame similar to the skeleton that supports a human body? The difference is that a skyscraper’s frame also extends deep into the ground to bear the weight of the massive structure. The Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. It is 1,454 feet tall, 110 stories high, and its foundation is 100 feet deep. It opened in 1973, and it took three years to build. More than 12,000 people worked on this incredible project.

There are three personal insights inspired by the Sears Tower that I want to share with you today. First, the Sears Tower can only rise to its height of 1,454 feet as a result of the depth of its 100-foot foundation. What does that have to do with you? Well, think about this: How high do you want to soar in your personal and professional life? That high? Brilliant! Now let me ask you, how deep is your foundation? Have you drilled deep into your psyche to remove all of the brilliance blockers that could impede your future? Have you shored up your values to support your growth? Here’s the point: you can climb the ladder of personal and professional success, but you can only go as high as your foundation will support you.

The second insight is this: anything worth having is worth the time and effort it takes to get it. It took three years to build the Sears Tower, and who knows how many more years before that to plan, design and finance it. Significant success is rarely achieved overnight. It takes time – sometimes a lifetime. It’s built piece by piece…one on top of the other. If you study significantly successful people, you will likely discover that, despite first appearances, they in fact spent years laying the groundwork for their achievements. A poorly made structure based on shortcuts and minimal workmanship will likely fall apart when the first strong wind begins to blow.

The final insight is to make the most of every situation and experience. 12,000 people played a part in building the Sears Tower, and they will forever remember that experience. For most, it was probably more than just another job. It was an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than them. They carry a piece of the Sears Tower with them. What people and experiences do you carry with you? Many people cross your path.

Do you ignore them as if they are non-existent, or do you mine their wisdom and cherish your time with them? What have you learned from the people who’ve come into your life? And did you give them a piece of yourself to contribute to their rich experience?

These insights speak to the nature of human character. But John Maxwell said it better than I can: “Character is made in small moments of our lives. Anytime you break a moral principle, you create a small crack in the foundation of your integrity. And when times get tough, it becomes harder to act with integrity, not easier. Character isn’t created in crisis; it only comes to light.”
What is the depth of your character?

Simon Believes…the deeper your foundation, the higher you can soar.

Simon’s Side bar

  1. I recommend you pick up a copy of Step Up by Daniel Grissom. It will teach you how to win more and lose less in business.
  2. What can I do to better serve you on the road to releasing your brilliance? Please send an e-mail to

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