Here’s some food for thought with our first ‘Business Thinking” article…
There are more articles on the way, and the formatting for these articles will likely change.
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Here’s the first in a series!
Business Thinking: Sharpening Your Axe
A young man entered a logging camp with the hopes of joining a crew with a reputation for great production. He approached the foreman with a grin and said ‘I’m here to ask to join your crew”!
The foreman looked the young man up and down and said…”Ok young man. I’ll give you a shot. This is a very productive crew. My guys can fell 12 of these big trees a shift. If you can keep up, the job is yours”.
The young man blurted out with confidence “Just wait and see! You’ll be impressed. I just know it!”
The young man headed out with the experienced crew and sized up his first tree.
He effortlessly swung his axe and settled in to a day of hard work.
At the end of the shift, he encountered the foreman as he wandered into the camp kitchen. The foreman asked, “Well young man…How did you make out? How many trees did you fell?”
The young man replied, “Nine. I brought down nine trees”.
The foreman responded by saying, “Not bad”. “Not great either. Give it another try tomorrow”.
Not to be deterred, the next morning the confident young man departed halfway through the crew breakfast. He had a head start and was certain he would do better this day. He took a deep breath and started to swing his axe…
At the end of the shift, he dragged himself into the crew cabin about 15 minutes later than the rest of the crew. The foreman spotted him as he was hanging up his gear.
“So…How did it go today young man? How many trees did you fell?”
The young man shook his head with some disbelief. “I was able to bring down 8 trees!
I’m not sure why, but I was trying harder today!”
The foreman wrinkled his forehead and thought for a moment. He replied…”I’ll give you one more shot. You’ll have to step things up if you want a spot on this crew.”
The young man was clearly frustrated as he gulped down his dinner and went to bed early.
The next morning the young man was gone before breakfast. He was already out swinging his axe into the heavy timber. He took no breaks except for a short lunch break. He gave his all and came stumbling into the crew camp well after sunset.
He entered the crew cabin and slumped down into a chair completely exhausted.
He held his head in his hands and shook his head slowly from side to side.
The foreman approached him and asked him “Are you OK young man?”
The young man blurted out, “I just don’t understand it. I left before breakfast. I skipped breaks, I took a short lunch. I worked as hard as I could…I just don’t understand why I only brought down 7 trees! I just can’t figure it out…!”
The wise and experienced foreman sat on a stool in front of the dejected young man and asked him one simple question. “Young man, during all the time you were working so hard over the last three days, did you ever stop once to sharpen your axe?”.
As business owners, how often to we stop to “sharpen our axes”? With a focus on being productive, sometimes we are so preoccupied with business-as-usual, that we forget to take the time to stay “sharp”.
Stay tuned for an announcement for the upcoming Christmas Meet and Greet networking event.
Hanging out with a diverse business group is a great step in tweaking one’s thinking with new perspective and varied viewpoints.
More articles coming soon!
Peter Finnie Artistic Photography