In Solomon’s melodramatic manifesto, Ecclesiastes, he says “take time to sharpen the saw.” This simple morsel of leadership counsel from the “wisest man who ever lived,” is so simply stated it’s easily missed. As leaders, this verse in our Bible should be triple highlighted and underscored for good measure! We are all inclined to get so busy pushing the rock uphill that when we lose our edge we try to make up for it with effort.
I work with CEOs and senior leaders in San Antonio as part of a national platform called the C12 Group. At the center of our mission is to see transformation brought to cities through the marketplace as business leaders “lead where THEY are” to the glory of God. The single greatest hurdle for most of these leaders? Time, vision, exhaustion, isolation, concession…dull blades. So busy working IN their businesses they never step back and work ON their business, never step back and “sharpen the saw” of their leadership, refresh the vision of their purpose, to take Haggai’s tip to “take a look at your life” seriously.
Part of how we accomplish our mission is precisely breaking that rut and pulling leaders out of the weeds for 1 day each month as a “business Sabbath” where we can work on the big picture. While there are many tools (including this Faith & Business Toolkit I’m making available for YOU), the key is intentional time.
For the past 6 years we’ve made a staple of this rhythm the Global Leadership Summit, and this year over 300 market leaders are attending the Summit together. 2 days, a bajillion brilliant faculty members, an infusion of leadership chutzpah and – most powerfully – the space in which to invite God to “ring our bell” as Hybels says. Each year it happens. The mountaintop moments we each experience at the Summit provides the conviction, inspiration and new thinking to then embed in our monthly accountability process to see real mission lived out. We sharpen the saw and (surprise, surprise) the fields start to get plowed, the work begins to advance, and mission becomes less of a horizon and more of an already-not-quite-yet reality.
Dull blades are no bueno. You can hurt yourself. You can hurt those you lead, You can waste time, energy, and opportunity. If we’re going to “lead where we are,” we have got to take the time to work ON the business of our leadership.
Will you be joining us at the Summit this year? How do YOU sharpen the saw regularly? What’s your strategy for working ON your business instead of always IN it? How do you take your team away from the trees to step back and think about the forest annually?
Find out more about the Summit HERE.