After visiting the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge I was inspired by the signage at the Labyrinth Journey and Tales of Quests. The views from the bridge of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River, and Black Canyon are breathtaking.

As a contractor the vast scope of building this bridge proves how the construction industry comes together in a collaborative effort to overcome the challenges associated with a project of this magnitude. My first exposure to this project was seeing it prominently displayed on calendars and highlighted in magazines as a “high-stakes engineering and construction project”. I thought then it would be a great place to visit.

The bridge honors two heroes from the states both Nevada and Arizona the states the bridge connects. The sacrifices that both Mike O’Callaghan and Pat Tillman made for their country and communities is an inspiring story in itself.

Below I will highlight several of the sign titles and my leadership lessons from each:

See the Vision

Vision is such a motivator. Visionary people see potential and cast vision for achieving future objectives. Vision will propel you over, through and around obstacles. Sharing your vision with others will give them purpose and inspire them to join you on the journey. In the case of this bridge someone had to see a great purpose in providing a reliable and safe route for travel and commerce.

Design the Dream

Design by definition is: a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function of a building, garment, or other object.

For a project like this a team of people come together, using the vision and purpose to create conceptual sketches, blueprints, specifications. It could also be described as define the dream. The designer gives consideration to all stakeholders to develop a dream into a reality.

Plan for Success

Planning is a critical part of any endeavor and is often given the least amount of time and effort. As I walked out on the bridge, I  saw the project schedule or Gantt chart displayed. This schedule showed the individual activities represented durations and dependencies over the ten-year project.

For life and success, we must develop a plan and begin to work on individual activities to bring our plan to fruition.

Find Solid Ground

Finding a great place to anchor a structure is imperative to it standing the test of time. There are many environmental pressures that will stress the structure and the ground that it is built upon. As leaders, we must find our own solid ground through training, experience, mentorship, and other influences that develop solid ground.

Get a Good Footing

A good footing or foundation is supported by the solid ground. Reinforce your foundation by networking with successful leaders. Develop anchors that will hold and support you when tested by the trials and obstacles of life.

Clear the Way

Clearing the way is vitally important to creating a new path. Remove all obstructions that will prevent passage for your successful journey through or over the divide or obstacle. Clearing the way will open the area for others to pass through safely. Clearing the way will also require maintenance, at times there will be new obstructions or obstacles that spring up and will need to be removed, this is a way that requires continuous maintenance and improvements.

Lay the Path

Now that the way has been determined and cleared. Lay a path that is sustainable for others to cross. In the case of the bridge asphalt and concrete are the materials that create the path. For your leadership journey you will need to use sustainable principles and growth strategies to develop a path that others will join you on.

Span the Gap

There are many gaps in life: social gaps, knowledge gaps, generational gaps, to name a few. Be the bridge that spans the gaps for others. You may have to go back across the bridge and show others the way. You have heard the term “never burn a bridge” in the case of gap spanning, trusting relationships can be the bridge that spans the gap. Be thoughtful and bridge the divide as a leader. Learn to communicate in a manner that builds bridges and not silos.

Want to learn ways to create bridges through team building? Try this article: Team Building For Purpose

I enjoyed my visit to the Hoover Dam and Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. They are both very inspiring landmarks with countless hours given by engineering and construction professionals. My hat is off to those who gave their time and efforts to create such sustainable projects admired by and utilized by many generations past, present and in the future.

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Brian Brogen, Build Yourself & Then Build Others!

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