Sharpen the Saw!​

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Sharpen the Saw!​

How can I ensure I will be able to perform as effectively and efficiently as possible?

Last week in a meeting, we discussed the 3rd law of leadership as presented by John Maxwell in his ’21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ – “The Law of Process”.  This law refers to the act of investing into yourself to develop your skills as a leader gradually over a long period of time.  In the words of John Maxwell – “Leadership develops daily, not in a day”.

This concept is not new by any means and has been referred to by many experts.  One note-able analysis is portrayed by Stephen R. Covey with his 7th Habit of Highly Successful People – ‘Sharpen the Saw!’ This refers to the concept of ‘Seeking continuous improvement and renewal both personally and professionally’.

So… what is the metaphor “sharpen the saw” about?

It is about spending the time to prepare yourself and/or the tools you will require to achieve your goals.  It is about developing a process that means you can do this effectively and efficiently.  This process is beneficial through all areas of our life; physically; mentally; spiritually; and emotionally.

Unfortunately, despite the benefits, there are so many of us who put our personal development aside to tend to the ‘loudest’ issues in our busy lives.  

How to Improve Daily

To apply this in my business, I look to my greatest asset – my team.  

  • What am I doing to develop and build my team on a daily basis?  
  • How do I encourage them so they continuously develop themselves?  Have I built this into their KPI’s.  
  • Do I challenge them on this?

I also spend critical think time considering the other critical assets within my business – the systems! 

  • Do I actively pursue continuous improvement within this area? 
  • Is my issues register up-to-date with the latest issues and improvements to the system to prevent these things from ever happening again? 

On a personal level, here are some points I suggest to ensure you continuously improve both personally and professionally – daily:

  • Set yourself goals!
    • If you identify what you’re trying to achieve, You will know what you need to do each day.
    • Eg: To develop a strong relationship of trust with employees and customers!
  • Identify how you will measure your goals
    • Break your goals down into quantifiable components so you can measure your progress.  If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it!  And remember, that EVERYTHING is measurable if you break it down.
    • Eg: To deliver on 100% of our promises.
  • Set indicators (lead and lag) with short frequencies so you can see your progress at any point in time
    • Eg. 100% quotes on time, Zero late payments, Team meetings always on time.
  • Identify daily activities that you will do to ensure you meet your KPIs
    • These are the things that you will prioritise daily to ensure you are applying the “Law of Process”.
  • Lastly, but most importantly, identify someone to hold you accountable!
    • We all work better under pressure and if we have to answer to someone.  Make a commitment in a meeting to the team, or pick someone you respect, someone who knows you, and someone who is prepared to follow this through with you to help you achieve your goals!

 

Contact Systems Strategy to Learn More

If you want to learn more about how to develop systems and processes to drive continuous improvement in your business, please leave your comments below or contact me on email: bruce.french@systemsstrategy.com.au.

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About Bruce

I’m ‘The Systems Guy’!  I add value to businesses like yours through the development and implementation of systems and measuring performance.

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