The idea of self reflection could be to some, seen as a waste of time and even somewhat self indulgent – especially in our increasingly busy work and home lives. However, the ability to reflect on self has time and time again been linked to higher performance an increased leadership ability.
So what prevents us in taking that time each week, day or hour to consciously and deliberately reflect on:
- What our inner voice is saying
- How we interact with others
- What adjustments need to be made to more align with our objectives and
Hello Sailor … Ask any sailor and they will tell you how critical it is to continually tack and adjust to the weather and wind conditions:
- Watch the front of the sail edge on the main and jib. …
- Watch your wind indicators (telltales). …
- Close reach. …
- Close haul. …
- Sail into the wind to an upwind destination. …
- Go easy when learning. …
Whatever these terms mean, there is a constancy in watch what is happening, how the boat is reacting to the conditions and many many small adjustments in order to get to the destination.
So why not use this analogy in our own leadership journey?
Watching the conditions – the environment in which we are leading, the internal elements (the people that we lead, the culture, how we respond and feel about those – as well as the external economic/political/ social and how we operate within these environments.
There are times when it feels like smooth sailing in our leadership and then … There are other times that are more challenging or new situations.
Our Leadership abilities can be developed with conscious and deliberate reflection, at least weekly if not daily:
- Gathering data (feedback from a variety of sources)
- Keeping our destination in mind
- What leadership actions have worked well?
- What leadership actions need to be adjusted?
- Am I responding to the conditions appropriately?