Over Memorial Day Weekend, we went on a rather spontaneous trip to Niagara Falls and a few other places.  It was so spontaneous that I did not bring my passport and therefore, could not go across the border to visit Canada (note: Why I did not have mine is neither interesting nor relevant). My wife and son had not been there before and because we had their passports in hand, we were definitely going to ensure that they set foot on the soil of our neighbors to the north. While they set off on their adventure, I set off on mine. Audiobook in my ear and amazing views to enjoy, I walked and I walked; I thought and I thought; I saw and I saw. Yes, the falls are amazing and I saw them from just about every angle I could find (just not from the Canadian side). When the crowds got too much for me, I walked through the downtown area and couldn’t help but acknowledge a large amount of construction underway. Some of it was just beginning now that the heavy winter is over, while some of it was just coming to a close to accommodate the tourist season.

There are many signals that construction is ongoing. We might see cranes and other heavy equipment. We might see signs announcing that we are entering a construction zone. We might see traffic congestion. And we might see scaffolding.  I stopped and watched a group of workers take down some scaffolding and move it to their truck. Being the curious person I am, I struck up a conversation with one of the workers and he explained to me what he and the team were doing. Their job was over and it was time to move to the next. As the scaffolding was cleared, a freshly painted wall with newly installed windows emerged. They had been on the job for only a week, fixed what needed to be fixed, changed what needed to be changed, and were off to the next opportunity to do the same. In fact, he laughed as he told me that he would be putting this very scaffolding back up to do a very different job across town after the holiday weekend.

I thought to myself…same scaffolding for a different job, requiring different skills and different tools. I thanked him for his time, praised him on his work, and smiled as I continued my walk. Though I am far from a handyman, I couldn’t help but relate. I have been in various stages of the same job for 550 days now (counting each day with the intent of making each day count). I have been spending most of it positioning the scaffolding, changing what I could, and coaching when I should. I have but a month left and it’s time to begin removing that scaffolding. It’s time to see what touch up work is deserving of my personal attention and develop a list of goals yet to be accomplished for the next foreman to consider. It’s time to load up my truck and take my scaffolding to the next job. A job that will undoubtedly require new tools, afford me the opportunity to hone new skills, and stand perched at heights I have never seen before. Scaffolding is an eyesore to some, a symbol of change to others, and a necessary platform from which change agents work.

  • When is the last time you stood high upon scaffolding?
  • How often do you move to another job site?
  • The next time you pull down the scaffolding, what do you expect to see?