Sharpen The Saw
Principles Of Balanced Self-Renewal
“Habit 7 is taking time to sharpen the saw. It surrounds the other habits on the 7 habits paradigm because it is the habit that makes all the others possible.
Four Dimensions of Renewal
Habit 7 is personal PC (Production Capability). It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—-you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature—-physical, spiritual, mental , and social/emotional.
PHYSICAL (exercise, nutrition, stress management). MENTAL (reading, visualizing, planning, writing). SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL (service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security). SPIRITUAL (value clarification & commitment, study & meditation).
Although different words are used, most philosophies of life deal with explicitly or implicitly with these four dimensions. Philosopher Herb Shepherd describes the healthy balanced life around four values: Perspective (spiritual), Autonomy (mental), Connectedness (social), and Tone (physical). Sound motivation and organization theory embrace these four dimensions or motivations—-the Economic (physical); How people are treated (social); How people are developed and used (mental); and the Service, the Job, the Contribution the Organization Gives (spiritual).
‘Sharpen the saw’ basically means expressing all four motivations. It means exercising all four dimensions of our nature, regularly and consistently in wise and balance ways.
To do this, we must be proactive. Taking time to sharpen the saw is a definite Quadrant II activity (Not Urgent), and Quadrant II must be acted on. Quadrant I (Urgent), because of its urgency, acts on us; it presses upon us constantly. Personal PC must be pressed upon until it becomes second nature, until it becomes a kind of healthy addiction. Because it’s at the center of our Circle of Influence, no on else can do it for us. We must do it for ourselves.
This is the single most powerful investment we can ever make in—-investment in ourselves, in the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute. We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to sharpen the saw in all four ways.”
Covey’s 7 Habits, specifically Habit 7/Four Dimensions of Renewal, is a great segue into the next series of posts related to my personal experiences with managers who “thought” they were leaders. Unfortunately, for their employees, they would not know the fundamentals of leadership even if they bit them on their behinds.
Next: Leadership Behavior Model