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One of the many things that I enjoy doing is woodworking. I enjoy taking something like a pile of wood and creating something useful and pleasant to the eye out of it.
Over the years, I have accumulated a pretty sizable tool box filled with all sorts of tools. I also have to admit that another hobby that I enjoy is walking through the tool section of home improvement stores. It never fails that those things that I need, either wire cutters, or a knife, they are the most are dull tools in the box. I am not sure if it is the lack of use that these tools get, or if it is because I misuse them, but they end up dull and unusable.
I found myself thinking the other day, what if I had a knife that never dulled, or a pair of scissors that would cut anything yet never loose their edge. I know that there is a late night show that states that there is such a thing, but take my word for it; they do not exist.
You might be wondering “I thought I was reading a leadership blog, not a tool box blog” so lets switch over to leadership stuff.
This morning while I was reading, I came across a statement that made me say “Wow, that is brutal”. The statement was a warning against those of us that become leaders and teachers. It goes on to say that we will are judged more than others, and it concludes by talking about tongue and how powerful it is.
This led me to thinking about the tongue being a key tool in our leadership tool box. It is with our tongue, our speech, which we can either cause harm or encourage. At any time of the day, we can take a moment and use that tool to build someone up that is having a bad day, or we can use that same tool to discourage someone who has just made a mistake and is teetering on the verge of giving up. It could be us, leaders, that either push that person over the edge or safely bring them back to solid ground.
I know that many of you will recognize where I was reading this and understand that this is a biblical principal. I would also say that this also works in real world situations. As leaders, we are looked at (judged) more than the rest of the team. Failure tends to stick to a resume as well as a success. Future employers also want to find out how you handled being a leader and those things come back to haunt you.
I think that the wisdom that I get from this piece of the bible is that, as a leader, I have been given an important tool that can help with my success as a leader, or with my failure.
This week’s experiment is to make sure that you are using the tool wisely, to build up and encourage.