If there were a font for sarcasm, I would use it on this title. I have met very few people who want to step back from their crazy busy world to truly learn new things. Tragically, most people dread taking the time out to read a journal, let alone attend a whole day of an educational seminar or workshop. Rick Warren put it well when he said: “the moment you stop learning, you stop leading.”
Michael Dell is a great example of the use of ongoing Executive learning and education to provide Dell a competitive edge in the PC market during the 1990s and into the 21st century. Michael’s quote sums it all up “Start with smart executives and then keep them smart.”
There is a story of two men, in a competition to cut down identical trees using only an axe. Both men began hacking away at the tree, matching stroke after stroke. However, about 10 minutes into the race, one man quit chopping and took his axe over to clean and sharpen it. The other continued his same chopping motion, not wanting to take time out from his action.
You can guess the result. The man with the newly sharpened axe returns to the tree and beats the man chopping non-stop with the dulled axe.
Education and Learning is like sharpening your Axe. You simply can’t be too busy to learn.
Maybe the Rockefeller Habit of continuing executive education should not be taken so lightly. Stopping once a month to “sharpen your axe” will help bridge the gap from strategy to results.
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