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Sharpening your Skills

Creating quality by sharpening our skills

Following is a story a friend sent me.  Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it.

His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.His boss gave him an ax and showed him the area where he was supposed to fell the trees.

The first day, the woodcutter brought fifteen (15) trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said, “Carry on with your work!

Highly motivated by the words of his boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring ten (10) trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he was only able to bring seven (7) trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength.” The woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.“When was the last time you sharpened your ax?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my ax. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…

Moral: Most of us never update our skills. We think that whatever we have learned is good enough. But good is not good when better is expected. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success.

Let’s look at how we can use this to not only sharpen our skills, but help sharpen the skills of our employees.  Often we are too busy or we think we are too busy to stop long enough to learn how to use a new tool or acquire a new skill.  Although we often associate sharpening our skills or tools with the production area of our businesses, it can apply to any area of the business.  And often it is the unsharpened tools we use in marketing, sales or collections that keep us from being as profitable as we can be.