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


What does the word “success” mean to you? Whatever images you conjure up, I think it’s true that we all talk, hope, and imagine it differently. Even so, recognizing success is pretty easy.

“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.” — Warren Beatty

Success comes in big and small packages. It can be a solo accomplishment, but it usually requires a team effort featuring “blood, sweat and tears.”

Blood: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos

Sweat: “The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon

Tears: “I have failed many times, and that’s why I am a success.” — Michael Jordan

Opportunity is the starting line for success. In addition to business and career opportunities there are opportunities to make a friend, save a life, spread some sunshine and show kindness. Some of these you will read about in places like Guidepost and Readers’ Digest magazines.

“The opportunity for brotherhood presents itself every time you meet a human being.” — Jane Wyman

Every day provides a new opportunity to learn, quit smoking, improve, eat less, start over, start exercising, save or invest money, read, or just try something new.

“Opportunity never sleeps.” — Vince Bovenzi

While one person might miss an opportunity, there is always someone else who is ready for it.

“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

“Seize opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.” — Bulgarian Proverb

“Many of us have heard opportunity knocking at our door, but by the time we unhooked the chain, pushed back the bolt, turned two locks, and shut off the burglar alarm – it was gone.” — Author Unknown

Besides not recognizing opportunity, people will more often than not back away from it for a variety of reasons.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas A. Edison

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.” — James F. Byrnes

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” — Unknown

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” — Unknown

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” — William James

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it is all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you are willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you are willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you have got the essential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.” — Joseph Sugarman

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: