The Bridges and Barricades Story

A Lesson in Leadership
by Gary Lear — Global Managing Director, Development Beyond Learning

The team leader of a group of engineers looked across the desk at the people in the team he managed. “If only I could treat these people as I do my designs and work out a logical way of solving their problems, and improving their performance,” he thought. “I design and build bridges to cross difficult terrain. I put up barricades so I can stop people from entering areas that I don’t want them to go into. Why, then, don’t I help people build bridges across the difficult issues they face in their personal and business lives? Why don’t I show them how to remove the barricades and let them explore the possibilities of new relationships and unexplored territories, find new paths and, using the bridges they build, achieve an effective way of reaching new and exciting lands.”

He got up from his desk and walked to the closest young team member and asked, “What do you want to achieve in life?”

Startled, the young team member looked up and said, “What is it to you? All you want from me is results and I’m giving that to you aren’t I?”

“Yes you are,” the engineer replied, “But I want you to know that I‘m interested in your future. What do you want from life?”

“I’ve never really thought about it,” the young team member replied, “I did my schooling and just got a job and here I am.”

“It’s time you gave it some thought,” said the engineer. “I want to help you remove the barriers to the future and work with you to build bridges to new and exciting areas you never though possible. Can we do that together?”

“He that would be a leader must be a bridge.”
— Welsh Proverb

The Birth of Development Beyond Learning

So commenced a process for both the engineer and the young team member of building bridges and removing barricades. The things they explored together have since been expanded into the complete suite of Development Beyond Learning (DBL) learning modules, assessment tools, models, methods, and success stories.

Development Beyond Learning is more than a training company. It is a development organization committed to facilitating individual and organizational change both in and beyond the classroom. Through the use of our suite of learning materials and our “enlighten, engage, empower” process, a journey through change can be mapped and embarked upon at any level within an organization. The results of this are seen in personal, professional, and organizational growth, which succeeds in getting people “unstuck” from the day-to-day grind and motivated to make change and achieve that which they want to do and now believe is possible.

For more information about Development Beyond Learning, USA
call: 937.660.5217,
or visit