Professional Development: “Chopping Wood”

Professional Development: “Chopping Wood”
October 16, 2014 by Orr Fellowship

When thinking about the value of the Orr Fellowship, I am reminded of the old fable, The Lumberjack Story. 

There are two lumberjacks who cut wood for a living. They both had similar upbringing and size but one just happens to cut a lot more wood. One lumberjack works from dusk till dawn and will sometimes skip lunch. The other lumberjack, will start a little later and will take frequent breaks. So who cuts more wood? The one who works harder and longer? Wrong! The second one, who starts later and takes frequent breaks. One day, the first lumberjack was so fed up he went to the other lumberjack and yelled, “How do you cut more wood than me? I get up earlier and take hardly any breaks! What is your secret?!” The second lumberjack turns and smiles. “There is no secret. Every morning before I begin I simply take the time to sharpen my ax.”

What does this mean to the Orr Fellowship? That we can chop a lot more wood with half the effort? Well yes, but more specifically that we are sharpening our skills as the next generation of business leaders. This happens through one of the main components of the Orr Fellowship: professional development workshops. Every so often we get together as a class to sharpen a variety of skills as business leaders. Just a month ago we did a workshop on design thinking that taught us how to reach more innovative ideas in a group setting. Most recently, board of director member Mark Hill has organized a series of entrepreneurship classes in which outside business leaders share their startup advice with Fellows. 

The Orr Fellowship offers some very unique opportunities to “sharpen your ax” to become a more effective leader and at a much faster pace. The next time you are working extra hard, ask yourself, how sharp is my ax?

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