Iron Sharpens Iron


Black and white - hands holding a metal knife while it is being sharpened by a circular sharpener that is throwing sparks

Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash


Last week I talked about how fighting or resisting the robins on my porch was a waste of time and energy. However, there can be other opportunities when resistance makes you a better human being, expands your skill set, or helps you reframe how you see things.


A practical example is strength training. If there’s no resistance, there will be no results. It doesn’t matter if the resistance is body weight, free weights, or machines, there needs to be resistance.


There’s an oft-quoted phrase from Proverbs (a book in the Hebrew and Christian holy scriptures) that “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” It’s a phrase to describe how wise counsel and quality relationships can help people grow. And we grow through resistance, through friction, “as iron sharpens iron.”


We become more wise, more discerning, and more resilient through authentic relationships that keep us honest about who we are, our motivations, and our goals. Every leader needs people around them who challenge them to think bigger (or smaller!), more broadly, more deeply, or more specifically.


Questions to ponder:

  • Am I willing to be sharpened through authentic and meaningful relationships?

  • Who do I have in my life that sharpens me?

  • Do I need more or different people to help me get where I want to go?


Stay curious friends!


P.S. Sign up now for the Enneagram Short Course July 18 through August 8, 2022. It’s four Monday nights from 7 to 9 pm for $299, what a deal! And we’ve changed to make it hybrid so you can participate via Zoom or in person. Reply to this email to get yourself signed up!



And make sure you’re listening to season one of the Dream Big Authentic Leadership podcast, found on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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