The advice is as old as the ages… “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 22:17

But how do you find the right person, or the right people that will sharpen you the most?  It’s not a simple or easy thing to build a team like this.  It’s just as challenging to keep it together.  Here are a few tips to consider as you look for your “sharpening team”.  These aren’t clever “knife sharpening” analogies, but simply practices that work.

  • Find people who are busy.  People who are busy are busy for a reason.  It’s usually because they are in high demand for their skill, expertise or wisdom.
  • Build a diverse group; people who are diverse in age, occupation and perspectives on life.  For this group to positively impact your life, avoid enlisting a team of individuals who are uniform or relatively similar to each other.
  • Choose people that are successful.  There is no shortage of people who will want to give you advice, but you have a responsibility to listen to and choose to follow the best advice. Ask smart people.  Ask wealthy people.  Ask educated people.  Ask people who are considered the best in their field.  Don’t just ask, ask well.
  • Make spending time with these people a high priority.  That means you say NO to other things so you can say YES to spending time with the members of your team.  It may mean getting up early, staying late, skipping lunch or buying lunch!
  • Write down the questions you want to ask, and the lessons that you learn.  You may be smart, but unless you have a photographic memory and an IQ of 160, write stuff down(if you pay attention, people that are really smart take notes).

In the past a person would use their blade to protect themselves and their family.  It was a tool that provided for their basic needs.  More than that, it was an extension of who they were as a person, a symbol of their bravery and character.  Your life sword is no different.  Protect, provide and show everyone that you’re here to make a powerful impact on your world!  Build that team that will help you sharpen that blade!

What suggestions would you give someone who was trying to build a team of people to “sharpen their sword”?