A Leadership Lesson from an Ax

"If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." - King Solomon

According to King Solomon, success is:

 Work Hard + Work Smart = Success

This is a huge lesson in leadership; it is a combination of both rather than either/or.

I think it is easy to default to one or the other when it comes to the ax getting dull. A few things you got to ask yourself:

  1. How do you define success? A book called The Mighty have Fallen by Jim Collins suggests that success is not defined by power, prestige, or wealth (aka climbing the coporate, ministry, or business ladder). In fact, he suggests that success (defined in this matter) has caused the downfall of corporate America. Therefore, what is success? According to King Solomon, success is defined in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. It is the choice to live for a bigger cause than our own. It is a choice to make a positive change/influence in society rather than getting a fat wallet. It is a choice to live for God; the creator of all wisdom rather than chase the rat race of the world. So, how do you define success?
  2. How do you work hard? You have probably heard this before: "spinning wheels going nowhere." I grew up in a farming family that knew how to hard work... but I soon realized that there has to be a balance. If you are working 60-70 hour weeks, then I would encourage you to think smarter... because you are robbing other areas of your life; such as family, spouse, and even your own sanity.
  3. Working Smart? We live in a century where change happens rapid and fast. Due to this, there is many contextual and universal challenges in leadership that is foreign to leadership paradigms of the past. It seems like leaders need to have multi-faceted and multi-avenues to lead in a diverse culture of today. In saying that, how are you working smart? Are you leading culture (thinking innovative, pursuing social networking opportunities)? or are you just keeping up? Or are you not caring at all...

It all comes down to one key: We live in a day of unprecedented opportunity and challenges that this world has never faced before. And to be honest, true leaders will shine as they seize opportunity. I encourage you to seize the opportunities around you rather than focusing on the challenges and doing nothing about it or defaulting to hard work that becomes repititious and dull.