Why Iron?

As a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy in the 1980s, my days typically began before sunrise and ended close to midnight. It was a fact of life at the academy -- continuous mental and physical challenges were part of the training to prepare future officers to lead in situations that would surely test them in all ways.

Like most Midshipmen, I was in top physical condition, but it wasn’t unusual to feel mentally and physically drained – something I attributed to the strain of academic and military life at the Academy.

During a routine medical exam, a doctor suggested another cause -- my bloodwork indicated that I was anemic, a result of a diet that was low in iron.

This was easily cured with a supplement and a change in diet and was not an impediment to completing my studies at the Academy and embarking on a rewarding (and demanding) career as a Naval Officer.

I thought back to that episode from three decades ago as we have discussed what we want The Iron Project to be. One thing that unites the group that has come together to launch this effort is a sincere belief that we need iron in our lives.  As a physical element it invigorates our bodies; metaphorically, it invigorates our individual and collective efforts.

Thousands of years ago wise King Solomon provided an eternal truth in his Proverbs:

As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.

It’s easy to understand how iron sharpens iron, but a man who doesn’t wield a surgeon’s scalpel cannot physically “sharpen” another man. So what does it mean to “sharpen another”?

At TIP, we think to sharpen another is …

  • to instruct;
  • to demonstrate;
  • to coach;
  • to support;
  • to push, pull and question.

Ultimately, to sharpen one another is to strengthen men and women in their individual and collective pursuit of their goals. 

We believe it is a core part of any leader’s mission to establish an “iron sharpens iron” culture for their team. Through our work as leaders in the F3 and FiA group workout movements, we’ve seen Solomon’s advice transform lives across our nation, and we’ve built The Iron Project to be a leadership development forge for other organizations – like yours.

Contact us to create unique programs that will instill and invigorate an “iron-sharpening” culture in your team!

Rob Cannon