In the restaurant industry, most professional chefs are familiar with the term “steeling the blade.” It is method of smoothing the edge of a sharpened blade and removing small pieces of steel and carbon that are beginning to break off the edge of the knife. It is not meant for sharpening the knife, but rather, extends the capability for the knife to continue to cut.
As business leaders, we are often faced with the idea that going back to school might be helpful, but may take far more out of our lives than we can fully commit to. I, for one, am a living testament to this, where I worked on several graduate level degrees, but do to family and business commitments, I was unable to finish the programs. Don’t get me wrong; I did learn a lot about a lot of things in the program; it certainly was not a waste of time or energy.
What I could have done, instead of placing myself in a predicament of trying to juggle school, work, young children and a wife – essentially, attempting to “sharpen the saw,” so to speak, was to steel the knife. As in, get getter at the things that I am already good at.
This doesn’t mean simply grabbing some books and blowing through them, but rather, create a structured program for yourself to learn specific skills that are associated with your current capabilities. This might be something as simple as learning to write and publish articles and blogs. You might be an excellent writer, but the question is: how do you get your work in front of the right people? It might be as complex as learning how to develop and roll out an integrated marketing plan.
Regardless of the topic, it takes a plan – no matter how simple – and dedication to become an expert at it. It takes moving one step at a time toward a specific goal or target in order to steel that blade.
As business leaders, ongoing development is essential for running and growing an extraordinary business. Don’t get dull. As you do your planning for this year, plan to steel the blade.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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