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Lifehacks Tip: How To Sharpen Your Edge as a Leader?

Always be sharpening.

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the last but equally important habit is to sharpen your saw. While the book was written for personal development, the habits are applicable to business leaders or owners as well. Specifically, the 7th habit (“Sharpen your saw”) is crucial for business leaders or owners because you will always need the competitive edge to grow and move your company forward.

The term sharpen you saw is to illustrate an individual spending some time for personal development in order to maintain his critical edge. The daily grind of producing the expected work output would dull the edge. As such, to constantly seek new ways and innovative solutions would help to sharpen the edge. 

Short for Time?

One of the main reasons, why most would spend insufficient amount of time for self improvement is the lack of time.

However, at qiscus and onesixoneeight (we run two companies simultaneously), we focus a lot of self development. We believe that the only way for a company to grow exponentially is if all members of the company grows on the individual level. Unfortunately, as most start up companies, we have barely enough time for development and improvement.

In order to solve this, we focus on integrating learning hacks right into our company culture.

Hack #1 – Find Good Books

Our Growth Hacker, Jon, always say,“ If you can’t find a good mentor, find a good book.”

We create routines to get more efficient in our work processes but being stuck in a routine reduces creativity and the ability to create good solutions. This dulls the competitive edge.

Self-help or motivational books are a great way for anyone to get new perspectives or solutions. By reading a good book, every now and then, you may be able to take a step back to ask yourself, “Hey, maybe there’s a better way to do the stuffs we’re doing..”

*side note*
Oh by the way, we’re reading this book: The 10X Rule – The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

Hack #2 – Listen to Podcasts

Books are great but it’s difficult to multi-task while reading a book. We always have pockets of time that could be better spent. For example, instead of playing Candy Crush on the way back home in the train, you could let your eyes take a break and listen to a good podcast instead.

Here’s a couple of podcast to get you started:

1. Learn French – Coffee Break French by RadioLingua

Picking up new languages helps to sharpen your brain and keep your mind active. It’s the next best way to explore different cultures beside travelling. The podcast is great if you have some basic french and you’re looking to sharpen your french.

2. Lessons From Other Founders – Innovation Crush

Innovation crush is a fun but serious podcasts that interview founders from different parts of the world. It’s great because the interview focuses on different kinds of founders running both service and product companies. So there’s something in it for everyone.

Hack #3 – Sharing Sessions

Now everyone in the team is learning something new every week. And if there are seven people in the team and each share what they have learnt, that’s 7 new things learnt every week.

It doesn’t have to be a very long session. Keep 5 minutes per person and if there are seven people it would only take 35 minutes. You could do this sharing session at the end of the week to wrap the week up nicely.

If learning is a team effort, it gets multiplied exponentially.

No excuse now

Do give it a try to inculcate some of the hacks above in your company. If you have any other hacks or tips that would help in learning, do let us know in the comments, tweet the link at twitter pinging us @qiscus or just email me at [email protected]

Happy Holidays!



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