To be a better leader do this...

Reflect weekly.

The most common error of young leaders is acting without thinking. When I stop long enough to reflect and process I always lead better.

I gain...

  • Clarity
  • Understanding
  • Empathy for people
  • Action steps
  • Creative solutions
  • Peace

As a leader you will benefit by establishing a pattern of reflection. Where is this time in your calendar? Does it occur weekly? You will be pleased with the results by creating intentional space to stop and think.

The threat of looking stupid

Top three things I learned about Leadership in 2011

#3 The threat of looking stupid

In 2011 I had this crazy idea that I wanted to try to train and coach regardless of who received it.  So I took the risk of trying to put something together that would help others who are passionate about the same thing I am and put it on the internet for all to see.  I enjoyed the process of reflection and coaching so much that the idea became a four day a week blog.  I had been feeling the tension that resources exist to coach more people but few in my generation are using the blogging platform so I just decided to leap.  My generation is hesitant to blog because we didn't grow up in a social media generation.  We didn't have pictures on Facebook for everyone to see and if we disliked someone we kept in our head and not in Twitter update.  Therefore we are not accustomed to putting thoughts out in front of audience we can't see because we like to control what people think of us.

This blog was never about a size of audience (Quick shout out to my average 30 readers!), it was about making sure I created space to think creatively.  This might have been my best year as a leader practicing the art of reflection.  I can not post something on the blog that I don't believe or haven't spent time evaluating through critical thinking.  After all, as a leader the last thing you want is to look stupid.  I've learned this year that as leaders we need the pause button (Space for reflection) but we also need the play button (Taking risk).  So 2011, thanks for teaching me a leadership lesson about reflecting and risking.

Did you learn any leadership lessons through reflecting and risking this year?


Reflect this

Do you practice the habit of reflection?  You're not alone if the answer is no.  There is something about stopping that really bothers leaders.  Some leaders see reflection as worthless as the ability to roll up a frying pan by hand. [youtube CwOAk5rs8HQ]

Side note: at what point in your life are you looking at a frying pan thinking, "I wonder if I could roll that?"

Reflection HAS to be one of the chore values in your leadership.  Reflection allows you to measure and evaluate where you have been, but more importantly, it allows you to look ahead and determine future action.  If we choose not to reflect we lead ourselves and people like a car without a road.  You can't tackle the hill in front of you without a well thought strategy.

[youtube LF0n6yKWzmA]