Sharpening Your Models

Sharpening Your Models

By Rajesh Setty on Sat 30 Jan 2010, 12:01 AM – 9 Comments

Photo Courtesy: Lumaxart on Flickr

Stephen Covey’s 7th Habit in his classic book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” was:

Sharpen your saw

The message there was to keep practicing our craft and continue to get better at what we do.

That message is still valid and very relevant.

However, there is a need for a new habit and this time developing this habit is “urgent and relevant.”

That habit is:

Sharpen your models

We all have models about how things work – what works and what does not.

How do you get a job? We have a model for that.

How do you make a sale? We have a model for that.

How do you make a friend? We have a model for that.

How do you build a relationship? We have a model for that.

How do you build your brand? We have a model for that.

How do you know what customers want? We have a model for that.

How do customers decide from whom to buy? We have a model for that.

Take any significant thing that you are doing and you will notice that you will base it on a model that you learned or created on your own.

In the new world, the models that work have changed. Working hard on models that are OBSOLETE won’t make them work.

If you not been looking at it, the time is NOW to sharpen your models.

Not just polish them, revisit them, refine them, recreate them and re-invent them.

This is not easy.

For you, the models that you are using represents “truth.” Just like you don’t question the “fact” that “sun rises in the east,” you won’t question your models once they are in place.

So, the best way to get new models in place is to get “good help.” There are other people who have figured out what the “new models” are. Your job is to “seduce” them and be an “opportunity” for them so that they start sharing with you what those “models” are.

You might say that you are intelligent enough to figure out the new models. I am not doubting that. There are a small percentage of people who can do that on their own. For the rest of us, we need teachers and mentors who can shepherd us through this process.

Whatever path you choose, may the Force be with you :)


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9 Comments so far, Add Yours

Rohit  on January 30th, 2010

Hi Rajesh,

Great post! This should keep us on our toes!



Rajesh Setty  on January 30th, 2010

Glad you liked it Rohit.

Have a great day there.



pmiozzi  on January 30th, 2010

Absolutely. I am enrolled in a course on complex thinking (Edgar Morin) and is just that, develop that habit and consider a new paradigm, back towards a new epistemology. Thanks for this post !! Best regars,


Rajesh Setty  on January 30th, 2010


Thanks for sharing.

Also, I am very interested to learn more about Edgar Morin’s course. Can you share the details.

Even other readers on this blog would be interested too.



Shouvik Basak  on January 30th, 2010

Great post Rajesh.

Indeed what is required is to question the existing processes and ‘models’ and evaluate if there is a better way to do it today.

What was good yesterday may not be good today. What is good today would unlikely be good tomorrow.



Rajesh Setty  on January 30th, 2010

Thank you Shouvik for stopping by and for your comments.

Trying to work with yesterday’s models is almost a guarantee for failure.



Roguepolymath  on February 1st, 2010

Great take on continuous improvement.

Martyna  on February 3rd, 2010

Hey Rajesh :)

Your blog is different than most of the personal dev blogs out there. relaxed:)

regarding your post- I think that no matter how great your models, mentors are, you should always see yourself first. It is where exploration continues. You have a nice quote above – on Tiger Woods- “The road to high performance isn’t always paved”, and it has so many meanings:)

best of best wishes

Martyna :)

Rajesh Setty  on February 3rd, 2010

Thanks for the note Martyna and thanks for stopping by here..

Have a wonderful morning there.



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