When we dedicate ourselves to learning something new, we practice until we feel we have mastered it. Then for a time, we operate in “set and forget” mode, unconsciously doing what we have practised and what we know. If we get too comfortable here, our knowledge becomes our weakness. Unwittingly we can slip into doing what we know and lose our competitive edge as the world moves past us.
Meanwhile, slowly what we mastered we start to get too comfortable with. Slowly, unknowingly, unwittingly we slip a small element, it was’t really a distinction, our knowing becomes our weakness.
Meanwhile, somewhere else, someone is insightfully creating new. In our market, with our clients, with our prospects, hell, with our people, our people’s hearts and minds.
Our skills, attributes, use of resources, the way we inspire others may once have been sharp but over time inevitably become blunt. We have to continually sharpen these areas to not only stay relevant but to push forward and create new paths. As the market moves and standards shift, those who don’t stay sharp will quickly fall behind their competitors who do.
If we don’t stay sharp, we quickly become dull.
The world is constantly changing and moving forward. Remember when a mobile phone that made calls was a big deal? Then we moved into the world of texting, and then evolved smartphones that we can use to run an entire business, and the next generation of technology is swiftly coming upon us. Management style used to be run with a “command and control” mindset, then evolved into management by consultation, and today we lead with empathy and humanity, by putting others first. Staying comfortable with old ways won’t serve us – or our customers – for very long.
Too often we see leaders who are too busy to invest their time here, who work hard to maintain the status quo and see little room for anything else, who chase urgent at the cost of important. But at what expense? It makes economic and emotional sense for us as leaders to invest in the time and resources to sharpen ourselves and our team to get optimal results rather than waste our efforts with a blunt edge for average results.
It is important for our people, and our customers. Critically important for our people and our customers.
It also makes good business sense. Best use of resources is a commandment of business and it’s up to leaders to create a sustainable advantage. Successfully harnessing and maximising scarcity of resource to create your unique market position and value to clients is what sets great companies apart. Executive teams and Boards have to make sure this investment is able to take place and becomes the pathway to creating and maintaining a great business.
The bottom line is, will we invest in the time to sharpen our edge? Are we actively creating better by setting the stage for our people to achieve better, and in new ways? And are we taking our clients on the journey of their lives, to new and better ways? Or will we remain blunt and let our competitors, old and new, take control of our place in the world?
We have the ability – and the responsibility – of building an environment of trust and value to inspire tomorrow’s leaders, and delight our customers.
Whether we choose to stay blunt or actively sharpen is up to us. The world however will not sit around and wait while we decide.
Contact Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org today to begin sharpening your edge to let your people shine and deliver the best to your customers.