Leadership Series: Sharpen the Saw

Posted on Oct 10, 2016 in Inspiration, Small Business, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on Leadership Series: Sharpen the Saw

Leadership Series: Sharpen the Saw

Image result for sharpen a saw


As we discuss the topic of leadership it might be easy to become overwhelmed with a list of skills, capabilities and practices of effective leaders; enough to make us put our feet to the floor more hours each day and more days each week. But today we’ll discuss another essential and even invaluable habit of great leaders. This is what the famous Dr. Stephen R. Covey calls “sharpening the saw.”

Abraham Lincoln, an experienced axman, taught a powerful life lesson that illustrates well this idea when he said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

In other words, you can hack at a tree for hours on end and make very little progress despite much hard work. Or you can make the investment to sharpen your saw, which also may take some time and effort but your effort in felling the tree will return true productivity and real results.

Following are the four main areas that Stephen Covey, author of the famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests we focus on and under each are suggestions on how to “sharpen the saw.”

Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting

Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others

Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching

Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service

Covey writes:

“Feeling good doesn’t just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything.”

So now it’s your turn to sharpen your saw. Pick an area, invest some time and watch how you come back to the tree, ready to bring it down. Enjoy!