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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GOOD LEADER? SHARPEN THE SA
In our conference room, I have a big rolling white board I can move around. I use it to illustrate our processes when teaching someone our methods. Yes, we have a manual, but many people are visual learners. Taking the time to sharpen the saw and show someone how the process looks can make a huge difference. Even when you think you have a skill mastered, it’s wise to periodically break it down, step by step, and refresh the skill. Sharpening the saw isn’t just about keeping your work life running smoothly. You should also take an inventory of your personal life. Look at all the areas of your life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Is there something lacking? Is it time to take a moment and course correct? There is always room for improvement. As Dr. Covey puts it, “We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw.” Taking the time to make sure you’re sharp and focused is the only way to truly be successful — both on a macro level, “Sharpening the saw isn’t just about keeping your work life running smoothly.”
Improving my skills as a leader has been a big focus of mine over the last few months. Part of my mission to be a better leader involves the idea of “sharpening the saw.” This concept is best described by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Sharpen the saw is Habit 7, “Seek continuous improvement and renewal, professionally and personally.” Basically, from time to time, you have to take inventory of the way things are going and look for areas that need improving. If you don’t check in on this stuff and just assume people are coming along fine, you’re bound to run into trouble. This is why you’ll hear things like, “I thought someone else was responsible for that,” or “Oh, I thought I was supposed to be doing things this way.” If I don’t make a point to sharpen the saw at the office, I’ll find that half the things I thought my team was doing daily aren’t getting done at all. Being a leader means taking a step back and asking, “What do my people need from me?” Leaders have to be givers; they shouldn’t leave their team to figure things out all on their own. No one loves sitting through meetings, but holding regular meetings is how you make sure everyone stays on track and has the tools they need to do their job.
like running an organization, and on the personal level, like running your own life.
When sharpening the saw, it’s important to ask, “What do I want to have on my tombstone? Whom do I want to come to my funeral? What do I want them to say about me?” This is how you recognize your goals and what you want to achieve in life. Reflect on what you need to do in order to reach those goals. If you aren’t walking down the path toward your goal, then make some changes and start sharpening the saw.
If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-667-8295 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. Call now, before it’s too late.
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