Sharpening the Axe

Tim and Scott Koontz visit Durango, CO with Builder peers

“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe” 

Abraham Lincoln

I’m not sure what practical advice you take from this old chestnut attributed to that famous President from the Land of Lincoln.  For me, this has always meant that you have to plan.  You have to get your mind right, or lay out the right tools.  You have to prepare for success before you can achieve success.

Part of our commitment to being the best business operators that we can be, is to commit to ongoing training and education as individuals and as business owners.  To that end we are part of a Builder peer group with the National Association of Home Builders that meets twice per year around the country.  Tim and I get the chance to compare our processes and ideas to those of other progressive construction companies.  Our most recent meeting was held earlier in September in Durango, CO.

At that meeting we heard from our peers that the building business across the U.S. is “up and down”.  They say all real estate is local – and this is borne out by the stories being told.  Some markets are white hot, while others are lukewarm.

Understanding the business climate, though, is part of chopping down the tree.  Sharpening the axe comes with personal improvement and reflection.  We were blessed to spend a day with Fred Reikowsky of Canton, OH – a business coach and mentor.  Fred helped us to consider ways to improve our company, to reevaluate our mission and vision statements and he also challenged us on a personal level to become better leaders. He was insightful and chock full of good ideas.  I took several pages of notes and left with a lot on my mind.

Honestly, it felt like I spent that whole day sharpening the axe.

Thanks for reading.

Scott Koontz