Sharpening the saw

I used to work with a guy who set the standard for learning.  He was always looking to learn new things and “sharpen the saw”, as he put it.  When I read the email below from Izzy Hyman, it made me think of how we need to continually work and learn to get better.  Izzy runs a great online tutorial website for shooting and editing video, and occasionally sends out little pieces of advice.  No matter what industry or discipline you choose, the message is worth it’s weight in gold.

Content reprinted in its entirety with permission.

What Dave Matthews’ Guitar Skills Can Teach You About Video

Wondering what I mean by that?

What does it have to do with anything?

I’ll explain…

Last night Noell and I were listening to some Dave Matthews songs (I’m a recent fan — only started listening to him a few years ago), and I kept thinking how amazing he is on the guitar.

That guy can jam!

I wondered how much time and effort he put into mastering it. My guess is that he’s devoted years to the guitar. And it shows.

The guitar is his instrument of choice.

When it comes to shooting video, our instrument is the video camera. In some ways, we should learn to play our cameras like Dave Matthews plays the guitar.

That could mean a lot of things, but here’s what I think it DOESN’T mean:

  • It doesn’t mean the video camera stays in the carry bag for weeks
    at a time
  • It doesn’t mean we avoid practicing
  • It doesn’t mean we avoid lessons
  • It doesn’t mean we avoid experimenting

It might be that you have no interest in mastering your video camera, and that’s cool. Not everyone wants to be a rockstar video shooter.

But if you want to shoot amazing video, you might need to spend significant time with your camera.

The practice will pay off…

All the best,


To me, Izzy hits the nail on the head with leadership as well as shooting video.  We can’t become better leaders by sitting in an office.  We can’t become better leaders by avoiding confrontation.  We can’t become better leaders if we aren’t open to learning new things.  And we certainly won’t become better leaders if we shy away from making mistakes. We’ve got get out there and mix it up.

As a leader, your instrument is people. Based on your performance and actions you can either make them sing or scream.  Depends on how much you practice.

Thanks for the inspiration, Izzy!

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