One discipline I have worked hard at maintaining since finishing my studies a few years ago has been to read a chapter from the book of Proverbs every morning. I was actually challenged to do this by Dr Ken Boa when, as a graduate student, I was blessed with the opportunity to be his airport chauffeur after he gave a day-long seminar at Indiana Wesleyan University. He was kind enough to personally share his wisdom with me as we drove, even after speaking all day. The reading of Proverbs works well for me as the chapters are relatively short. I can usually work through one in less than 10 minutes. It is easy to know what chapter I am on if I miss a day because there are 31 chapters which line up nicely with the days of each month. In addition to ease, I find these sayings and instruction quite informative and motivating in striving to live a meaningful life.
I often reflect on how few mistakes I would actually make in life if I just implemented the instruction and sayings in the book of Proverbs.
This week on the Monday blog I talked about engaging others as you develop yourself as a leader. One of the Proverbs that has real application for those wanting to continue to develop themselves as leaders is Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
The point of this ancient saying is that you cannot go on this journey in life alone. If you want to improve, it is imperative that you are working with someone on your development who is feeding certain things into your life.
Here are three things you might be looking for in a “piece of iron” who can sharpen you:
- Wisdom - Are they someone who leads a prudent life? Prudence is shown as someone who has a good track record of decision-making.
- Discernment - Is this a person who has shown they have an acuteness of judgment? Can they hear through your emotion and help you decide?
- Impulse Control - Can the person who is developing you delay the gratification of giving you what you want to hear and focus on what you need to hear?
What do you say we build a list together? Leave a comment below and let us know what quality is most important to you as you pick a coach, mentor, or advisor in your development as a leader.
Have a great weekend,