Sharp Knives…and Focusing on What Matters Most

Please listen to my interview with Jon Gordon here: Plant the Seed of Your Passion and Allow it to Grow

by Jon Gordon

I was speaking to the employees of a hotel/resort the other day and the head chef shared a comment that really stuck with me.

“Yep, I’m a typical chef,” he said. “At work my knives are all nice and sharp. But when I cook at home, all my knives are dull.”

Sharp knives at work… Dull knives at home.

How many of us need to spend more time sharpening our knives at home?

Reminds me of the time I was writing SOUP and my son kept coming to my office asking me to play ping-pong. “I’m busy,” I kept telling him with an agitated tone in my voice. And then it hit me. Here I am writing a book about engaged relationships and building a culture of greatness and I’m not living it or doing it at home. I felt convicted.

I made a commitment right then and there to sharpen my knives at home.

We often think that to be successful we have to limit the time we spend with people at home so we can focus on our work but I have found the more we make the people at home a priority the more we grow and grow in our work!

The past few years I have had many conversations with friends such as Dan Britton and Ken Blanchard about ways to sharpen my knives at home. I asked questions, listened, learned, implemented, failed, succeeded and have discovered some great sharpening tools.

We are all in this together and as iron sharpens iron and the people in my life have helped sharpen me I want to help sharpen you. So here are some sharpening tools to invest in your relationships and create a culture of greatness at home. (Note: While some reading this might not have kids or their kids are grown, you can still do these with a 2 person family)

1. Create a Family Mission statement – We have them at work. Why shouldn’t we create a mission/vision statement at home? A mission unites everyone in the family towards a common goal.

2. Family Meetings – A great time to connect and talk about the mission statement, challenges, successes, expectations and goals. How are we doing? Who needs help? How can I help?

3. Movie Night – Movie, pizza, ice-cream, family time and no distractions.

4. Show Them You Care – This will be different for each person. For my wife it means I fold the laundry. My daughter knows I care when I listen to her and write encouraging notes to her on a whiteboard in her room. My son knows I care when I play ping-pong with him and say prayers with him before bed. The key is to decide to be a team player and take the time to do whatever each team member needs from you. It’s not the amount of time you spend. It’s taking the time you have to show them you care.

About Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon’s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, Training Camp, The Shark and The Goldfish, Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture, and his latest book The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Novartis, Bayer and more. When he’s not running through airports or speaking to businesses, hospitals or school leaders, you can find him playing tennis or lacrosse with his wife and two “high energy” children. You may visit his website at Jon Gordon

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