The story of C

There’s a story about a university campus that goes something like this:

They constructed all the buildings but didn’t construct any footpaths connecting the buildings together. When the students arrived they walked from building to building and decided on the routes they wanted to use, wearing tracks into the grass as they went. After sometime, the administration paved the paths worn out by the students.

This might be an urban legend, and as I understand it, the story is owned and repeated by many university tour guides. I like the analogy.

Sometimes, the best way to move people from A to B is to let them choose their own path. We might need to guide them, encourage them, or even inspire them.

Sometimes, people will get to B in a far more efficient way than we had thought possible. They become our guides and we ought to pave those routes.

And sometimes, just sometimes – we realise that someone wasn’t heading to B anyway…

Because C is usually where it’s at.

Image Attribution:

By Fallenness [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

#AtoB #paths #choices #university #leadership