I would like us to take a moment to celebrate windows. These versatile building products possess all the attributes of greatness and genius. They are simple – glass and a frame. But they can also be intricate – tiny coloured pieces of glass and artistically shaped lead. They can be small. They can be massive. They can be found in a palace and in a hut. They let things in and keep things out. Their view can cheer a soul or strike terror in a soldier. They can be functional or they can also be stunningly beautiful. Windows done well are perfectly humble. And for all these reasons I think we not only need to take a moment to celebrate windows, but to also learn from them.
Kim and I rarely fight over anything. The only possible exception to this delightful fact is how we feel about windows. Kim loves to look out through them and see what’s happening outside. Everyone knows that she is very much an outdoors girl. I, on the other hand, like how curtains and blinds give a certain degree of privacy of outside peering eyes. Kim loves how the sun-light radiates warmth and lights up the room she’s in. Whereas I find the glare of direct sunlight difficult. It’s not that I don’t like natural light or even the warmth which comes from the sun’s radiance, it’s that I like how curtains and blinds allow me to control it and protect my privacy. This dilemma between unimpeded windows and curtained windows is like the dilemma that leaders have to navigate. There are times when a leader must either be fully transparent, or partly transparent, or very discreet. How we use windows teaches us some important truths about leadership