What is a tool? At the simplest level, it's some sort of object or item that helps us to extend our natural powers and accomplish something that we otherwise could not do, or at least could not achieve with the same ease, or speed, or safety that the tool, well used, can provide. A hammer. A screwdriver. A saw. A knife. A wrench. These are, of course, obvious examples. Other suggestions could be: A laptop. A smart phone. A bicycle. A car. A business. An organization of any sort. But there are other tools that are, perhaps, the most important of all for getting things done.
I'm apparently a rare type of philosopher, at least, these days. My job is to discover and create intellectual tools that people can use to improve their businesses and their lives. My specialty is that I'm a provider of philosophical tools for excellence. When you're working on a project around the house, you need the right tools to get the job done well. The same is true more generally of work and your personal life. You need the right tools for whatever job you face. A philosophical tool is just an idea or set of ideas that will help you to think, feel, and act in more productive and healthy ways, in whatever you're doing.
When I speak on success, I provide a toolkit drawn from the great practical philosophers of the past, a framework of ideas that I call "The 7 Cs of Success." When I talk about great teamwork, strong organizations, and customer loyalty, I bring people an additional toolkit that I call "The Four Foundations of Excellence." If I'm asked to help a company, or the members of an industry association, deal with difficult change, I bring them another toolkit - "The 3 Arts of Change." In every case, I'm putting into people's hands, or minds, tools that they can use to extend their natural powers and accomplish something they might not otherwise be able to do, or at least could not achieve with the same ease, or speed, or safety. And that's what makes my work so satisfying. I'm in the business of helping people to obtain and use the tools of excellence.
What philosophical tools do you use at work and in life? They should be well designed, finely calibrated, and durable. I hope you have some good ones that you use on a regular basis. If not, keep reading these blogs. I'll be describing great new tools, and some useful ancient ones, now and then.
If you're in a leadership position, consider this: What tools are your team members, or the people in your company, overall, using? Are they of high quality? Does everyone have the same access to the toolbox? Those factors are vital for maximal results.
For more on the tools I have mentioned, consult the Talks page on www.TomVMorris.com, or the Books page, where you can click to gain access to any of these ideas you haven't already come across. And check back. I'm always on the hunt for a new tool that will work for me, and for you!