Sharpening Your Saw

Do you know the story about the old man walking through the forest who hears a loud scraping
sound? The noise gets louder and louder as he gets deeper into the forest.
Eventually, he comes across a young man who is clearly exhausted from trying to work his way through a
massive tree stump with many more trees marked for cutting.
That looks like exhausting work! The old man says. Yes, and I have been at it for hours replies the young
man. Do you mind if I give you a tip? Says the old man.
Confused the young woodcutter replies Why not? Have you thought of stopping and sharpening
your saw? Asks the old man.
I would, responds the woodcutter, but I am too busy and have far too much to do!
I find that this is a common problem amongst busy Chief Execs who are pulled into focusing on
urgent issues instead of important tasks that will drive the leader and the business forward. Effective
leaders are busy, but they make the time to reflect and discuss their goals, journey, and mistakes
because they hugely benefit from the time spent sharpening the saw.
I have been helping leaders (CEOs, MDs & Directors) sharpen their saw for the last 12 years, the
leader sees a real improvement in both their businesses and their personal lives, with a “greater
work-life balance” often being quoted as a main benefit. Issues discussed between the coach and
coachee are totally confidential.
E-mail – for a complimentary initial 121.
*Story origin credit Stephen R Covey

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