Brad Jones's picture

Sharpen Your Knife

My son recently turned 8 years old and the traditional present from his grandparents on that birthday is a pocket knife. Both my wife and I think this might be a little young to be receiving a pocket knife as we have experienced the results of young boys with knives. However, as that has been the tradition for all of the other grandchildren (and he is nearthe end), we weren’t going to break that tradition and so he received his knife. 

Right after receiving his knife, if we didn’t know where he was, we could always find him outside with a piece of wood in hand, whittling to his heart’s content. Last week I took the opportunity to take my boys camping for a last hoorah before the weather turns too cold, and they had a great time. Between whittling on a stick and playing in the fire, my boys couldn’t have been happier.

One of the memories this camp outing brought back for me was when I was a boy scout and was charged with chopping the wood that night for our fire. We had a troop axe that everyone used to chop the wood. When it became my time to chop the wood, I didn’trealize that the axe had actually gotten quite dull and so when I was chopping the wood,instead of entering the wood, the axe slipped off the wood and headed straight for my foot. Even though I had shoes on, the axe penetrated through my shoe a split my toe wide open. As I thought about this experience, it made me realize that I needed to make sure my son understood that a dull pocket knife is actually much more dangerous than a sharp pocket knife.

Just like the dull axe slipping off the wood and splitting open my toe instead of the piece of wood that I intended to split, allowing our business skills to become dull has the same effect on the clients that we serve. Not being sharp in our technical skills will leave our clients with gaping holes and problems that need to be fixed. It is imperative that we are always sharpening our proverbial knives and keeping our skills up to date and relevant toprovide the most cutting edge advice possible.

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