Friday, October 21, 2005

Sharpening the Saw

Yesterday I was on a 24 hour YPO retreat with my forum. This is a great group of CEO's and Presidents of companies. I have been a YPO member of about 8 years and the forum group has gotten quite close.

We have a structured program to discuss business and personal issues. The forum group are all inteligent, fun people to be around. We have much in common. It is sometimes said it is lonely at the top. Having a group of people with similar challenges helps me come to grips with the challenges I face.

I always find that I come away energized after spending time with my forum buddies.

One thing I have learned to do over the years is to develop a list of things which energize me. Knowing that I need to be energized, I spend time doing some of these things. Knowing this is important, I give myself permission to do these.

Steven Covey calls this sharpening the saw from the story of the wood cutter who was busy sweating cutting a tree down. A stranger passed, saw the high amount of effort and labour to cut and suggested sharpening the saw. The wood cutter redoubled his effort and replied "I have no time to sharpen the saw, I have to cut the tree down". The moral being of course that you can cut more trees if you sharpen the saw rather than just saw harder.

So my time tip today is to take some time to do things which energize you.


At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a real advocate of planning and goal setting. I've personally seen the effects of both side of planning, not planning. It's all in the power of the pause.

Steve Covey was very influential to my life; I'm glad to see he's equally important to you.

Much continued success!

At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever asked yourself why you have such an incredible need to achieve? Yes, yes ... you enjoy "challenge". Everyone says that. But, really, why is that you push yourself so hard, Jim? What really is the driving force behind it all? You strike me as someone who hates to lose, or has a major problem with being "beaten" by another person. This may be too personal, but I am wondering - were you bullied in school? If I were to guess, and it is just a guess of course, you sound like you suffer from a self-esteem problem, hence your over-riding need to "improve" yourself. It is just that constantly - and I mean constantly! - reading books about self-improvement, listening to motivational tapes, attending seminars, etc. makes one from the outside looking in take a little pause and wonder about that. Or maybe I am dead wrong. Would you care to enlighten me and your readers? I always find it interesting to know what really (truly) drives people.

Yours Truly,
A SYNNEX customer (as well ... seems I am not the only one)

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a so-called science that tries to explain human behaviour. It's not much of a science since it concentrates mainly on explaining why certain patterns have occured, and not making verifiable predictions/hypothesis about future behaviours (and is often wrong when it does).

No one is entirely certain what makes up a person's personality, if its entirely factors of upbringing, if there's a genetic component, if there is a component of free will. It's probably a hypercomplex mixture of all three.

What is commonly accepted throughout cultures is that people tend to pursue their own happiness, and that this is manifested differently by different people.

Highly motivated and ambitious individuals like Jim are happiest when they improve themselves. Why? Who cares, psychology can do its best to make a guess.

Some people derive happiness from getting by in life doing the least amount of work. Why? Who cares again. But self-esteem is surely not the defining factor in either case. Personalities are so diverse they must be influcenced by thousands of factors.

Takes all kinds.


At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

Dan. First, I am glad there is more than one SYNNEX customer and thanks for the business. John's answer sort of sums up my philosophy "I am not sure why I am so driven or so driven to self development but have come to accept that I just am". I consider self development to be a hobby. Many people are passionate about their hobbies and I am about mine. There are worse hobbies I could have.


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