One day a traveller, walking along a lane, came across 3 stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. "I am cutting a stone!" Still no wiser the traveller turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall." A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveller turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: “I am building a cathedral.”
Moral of the Story:
This story beautifully illustrates a key visionary quality - seeing the bigger picture. All three stonecutters were doing the same thing, but each gave a very different answer. Each knew how to do his job but it was what the third stonecutter said that set him apart. He could see the whole rather that just the parts and had the ability to see the significance in the work beyond the obvious.