Iron Sharpens Iron

culture effective leadership executive leadership council leadership leadership culture leadership development mentorship networking team leadership Oct 13, 2021
Executive Leadership Council

Over the last twenty years, I’ve had access to better mentors than I probably deserved. I’d like to think I’ve always worked as hard as I possibly could to earn that access but some of the folks who have sown into my life and career were nothing short of proof that God’s hand does indeed move in each of our lives when we’re willing to move with It! All that said, the type of mentorship I’ve needed has changed as I’ve held different roles with different types of responsibilities; personally and professionally!

When I worked in safety, there were three or four amazing safety professionals I was able to align myself with so I could have access to the best and most relevant information available. As I moved into a full time human resource role, a few of those guys who were great at safety just didn’t have experience in HR so I had to chase after experts in that field. The same that had been true in my personal life when I started working out as a scrawny 20 year old as well as when I became a husband and dad. Being able to get input, guidance, and feedback from others who had mastered each of those things was a huge help for me!

As I’ve stressed leading up to now, having access to strong mentorship in the technical aspects of what we do is common today and has been around for nearly as history has been recorded. During a recent session in our Leading At The Next Level program, Cindy quoted King Solomon of ancient Israel as having said, “As iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.”

But when it comes to leading an entire organization, it’s often significantly more difficult to get access to others who have been or currently are in our shoes. Cindy and I have invested significant amounts of time and money to gain access to the mentors we need for this stage of our lives and business. And by doing that, we’ve been able to build a network of business owners that we can meet with routinely - one on one as well as in a quarterly group session - where we all share the purpose of creating strong leadership cultures for the individuals who are part of our respective organizations.

Cindy and I certainly work to provide this small, exclusive group with resources they can take back to their own businesses but we also put an intense focus on helping them develop relationships with one another to create even more growth and continuity throughout the group. Even with this in place though, iron won’t sharpen itself! We’ve been very intentional about scheduling our time in each session to be sure everyone involved adds value to the entire group and leaves with tangible steps they can take to make their companies even stronger. We’ll work through some of those steps soon...