Let us know what we can do to help sharpen your saw!

By Tim Rzeszutek

This month’s tool article is slightly different than in the past. There’s only so many new tools or exciting projects that are worth writing about. Instead, this month is going to be a review of concepts that are far from new and have been around for centuries.

On weekends — if we’re not working — I like to get up early and take my dogs on long walks and listen to podcasts. A couple weekends ago I listened to an interview with Stephen Covey Jr.

Stephen joined his father early in his career to help promote and teach the principles in his father’s book called, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which was published in 1989 and went on to win numerous awards. Now I have not read the book, but rather just listened to this 3-minute podcast — a high-level overview of these habits, which I found pretty interesting and highly relatable to our trade.

The first three habits Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and Put First Things First are habits that take you from dependence to independence. This could be apprentices learning the trade, new estimators trying to find a rhythm to their takeoff approach, admin staff new to our field, or recent graduated engineers entering the workforce. We all start out needing help and support from others. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions or ask for help. Just realize it’s up to you to take control of your career and make it what you want. Nobody is going to do the work for you.

The final four Think Win-Win, Seek first to Understand and then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw are all about learning how to work with people and getting a team to really hit their stride. The thought is once you are independent you definitely have achieved something, but if you can master the next four and learn how to work in a team you can go a lot farther than you would as an individual. It’s where the sum is greater than parts.

Now I’m not a big self-help book kind of guy, but I do believe in having the right mindset and I believe in the need for constant self-improvement. If you have questions and need some help I would encourage you to reach out and ask for help. Nobody will do the work for you but we will definitely point you in the right direction.

If you’re interested in the listening to this podcast you can find a link to it below. Let us know what we can do to help sharpen your saw!

** Click here to listen to the podcast **