Peter Drucker told the parable of the three stonecutters in his 1954 book The Practice of Management:
Many years ago, a passerby saw three workers cutting stones in a quarry. Though they were doing similar work, one looked unhappy, another looked content, and the third looked overjoyed. The passerby asked them what they were doing.
The unhappy stonecutter replied, “I’m doing what it takes to make a living.”
The content one answered, “I am a stonemason practicing my craft.”
The overjoyed one looked up with a visionary glance and said, “I am building the greatest cathedral in the land.”
Drucker, who focused on management, called the third stonecutter “the true manager” for understanding the importance of the whole enterprise, ...