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Sharpen Your Axe: Lincoln's Lesson for Busy Leaders

Sharpen Your Axe: A Leadership Lesson Inspired by Lincoln As an IT executive who has surveyed many top leaders over the years, I've noticed a […]

Sharpen Your Axe: A Leadership Lesson Inspired by Lincoln

As an IT executive who has surveyed many top leaders over the years, I've noticed a recurring theme - while most say personal health is a top priority, they rarely make time for it in practice. This struggle inspired me to get back into exercising regularly. But how to fit it in with my packed schedule? Then I remembered the old tale about Abraham Lincoln and sharpening the axe:

Sharpen Your Axe Lincoln's Lesson for Busy Leaders

Sharpen Your Axe Lincoln's Lesson for Busy Leaders

Abraham Lincoln on the Importance of Sharpening Your Axe

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

The metaphor is clear - we must take time to "sharpen our axe" and maintain our health to perform at our best in all areas of life. This quote from Lincoln reveals his wisdom and foresight as a leader. He recognized that preparing your tools and yourself is just as important, if not more so, than the task at hand. Sharpening his axe would allow Lincoln to chop wood more efficiently and effectively.

The same applies to us - taking time to strengthen our physical, mental and emotional health prepares us to tackle challenges and responsibilities with enhanced focus, energy and stamina. Lincoln teaches us not to neglect self-care and renewal; they are prerequisites to achieving excellence.

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Making Time for Health and Wellness as a Busy Leader

As an IT services provider serving businesses across the Cincinnati region, we at NetGain Technologies know firsthand how hectic life can get for busy professionals. But we have to make time to take care of ourselves.

I realized exercise is not something I should squeeze in if I can find time - it's a priority I must schedule, just like I do for work meetings and my kids' activities. A healthy me is a better father, husband, and leader. And a healthy you will perform better at work and life too!

Here are some tips for making time for health as a busy leader:

  • Block off time on your calendar for exercise, just as you would a work meeting. Treat it as any other important commitment.
  • Schedule exercise for times when you have the most energy. Morning workouts can be invigorating, while evenings may be better for stress relief.
  • Develop a routine and stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key to making exercise a habit.
  • Involve your family and exercise together. This allows you to bond while being active.
  • Set reminders on your phone to stay accountable. Enlist a friend to keep you motivated.
  • Start small - even 20 minutes 3 days a week is beneficial. Slowly increase duration and frequency.
  • Find an activity you enjoy so it doesn't feel like a chore. Mix up your workouts to prevent boredom.
  • Invest in quality equipment and workout gear to remove barriers. Having the right tools makes exercise more appealing.
  • Multitask by listening to audiobooks or podcasts during cardio. You can learn while being active.
  • Wake up early to exercise before the day gets hectic. This can be a refreshing way to start your morning.

The Benefits of Sharpening Your Axe

So take Lincoln's advice - block off time on your calendar to sharpen your axe. Your body and mind will thank you. Maintaining your health will provide:

  • More energy and stamina to power through busy days
  • Improved focus and concentration to hone your leadership skills
  • Reduced stress and anxiety to prevent burnout
  • Better sleep quality to optimize rest and recovery
  • Increased productivity and performance in all areas, personal and professional
  • Enhanced leadership presence and self-confidence
  • A sense of achievement from making progress towards fitness goals
  • Overall improved wellbeing and life satisfaction

It pays dividends for your personal life and professional performance. Investing in your health sharpens you mentally and physically to chop through daily demands with ease.

Applying the Sharpen Your Axe Mentality to Business

At NetGain Technologies, we apply this sharpen the axe mentality to all aspects of our business:

  • Employee Development - We ensure our technicians stay up-to-date on the latest technology skills through ongoing training and certification programs. This sharpens their ability to provide stellar IT services.
  • Process Improvement - We regularly examine internal processes to identify areas for improvement. Streamlining operations sharpens our customer service.
  • Technology Upgrades - We invest in the latest tools and infrastructure to sharpen our technical capabilities. This allows us to better serve clients with innovative solutions.
  • Leadership Development - Executives and managers undergo regular leadership training. This sharpens their ability to motivate teams and drive the organization forward.
  • Work/Life Balance - Employees are encouraged to take time to sharpen their axe outside of work, whether it's vacation, hobbies or health goals. This boosts their performance.
  • Strategic Planning - We hold annual strategic planning sessions to hone our business strategy and prepare for the future. This keeps our company vision sharp.

The sharpen your axe mentality can be applied to any organization seeking to maximize performance. When teams are given time to develop themselves, they're better equipped to excel and drive results.

Sharpen Your Axe Lincoln's Lesson for Busy Leaders

Sharpen Your Axe Lincoln's Lesson for Busy Leaders

Contact NetGain Technologies for Strategic IT Solutions

Want to ensure your organization has sharp systems and solutions? NetGain serves as a strategic IT partner for SMBs across multiple industries in Cincinnati and beyond.

Our experienced team will take the time to understand your unique business needs and environment. We'll then develop tailored technology solutions to streamline operations, boost security, increase productivity and give you a competitive edge.

NetGain will keep your technology sharp through proactive IT maintenance, cybersecurity services, cloud solutions and more. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your needs. We'll help you axe technology troubles and sharpen operations!

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