As promised in the previous post, I’m introducing the many different ways you can learn and improve yourself as an individual. But first, some questions:
Why learn and improve?
- Maximises your employability and contribution to your organisation
- Equips yourself with skills and expertise
- Opportunity for some personal reflection and self-realisation
- Looks greats on your CV
- Provides immense satisfaction and sense of achievement
- Most importantly, sharpens your axe
A few months ago, my beautiful and supportive girlfriend sent me an email, which originally came from her dad. It was an article from www.Leaderonomics.com
It started with a story about a woodcutter who could cut down 15 trees a day when he first started his job. But day by day, the number of trees he could cut down steadily dropped. Sound familiar? His boss asked if he had sharpened his axe, and he has been doing so everyday ever since.
The point of the story (in case you missed it) is that instead of working and pushing blindly, you should always seek to keep yourself at optimum performance. The woodcutter’s axe represents his skills at work. Read the article Sharpen Your Axe for better understanding.
The following is an exerpt from the article, which deeply moved me with its common yet unpractised sense:
Most people fail to understand what it means and mistake it for taking a break or vacation. If you’re overworking yourself and your productivity drops off, take a break. However, that isn’t sharpening the axe — that’s putting the axe down. When you put down a dull blade and rest, the blade will still be dull when you pick it up. The woodcutter does need downtime to rest, but it is not ‘sharpening the axe’. The woodcutter only becomes more productive by sharpening his blade, analysing new woodcutting techniques, exercising to become stronger, and learning from other woodcutters.
Hopefully, the burning question right now is how? How can I sharpen my axe? How can I improve myself? Be patient young Padawan, the next post will satisfy your curiousity.