Stephen Covey was one of greatest leadership leaders of our time. We really are missing his wisdom each day since his passing. He gave his all, so that we may learn what leadership is truly about.

The following is one of the stories he told to remind us of how we can become so busy at work doing the things that we need to do, that we neglect doing the things that are necessary for us to do our jobs more efficiently.

He wanted to impress upon us that by having a well thought out daily plan, you can execute your job tasks more effectively and waste less time.

Too many times we just keep pushing forward thinking it will all turn out for the best, when in fact, we actually are taking steps backward and becoming less effective.

I hope you enjoy this story and take heed to keep your axe sharpened each day. I know it has reminded me.

You are greatly missed Stephen Covey!

Author: Stephen Covey
From: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asks for a job as a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees down

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he tied even harder, but he only could bring down10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Take care of yourself. Make sure you get the tools and continuing education you need in order to keep your axe sharpened. If you are a leader, your followers are counting on you, do not forget that.