Premise: if you want to lead others effectively. If you want to lead your work more Impactfully. If you want to lead your business more strategically.
- You must be able to lead yourself more thoughtfully and intentionally
Self-leadership is a prerequisite for leading in any other context or relationship. And, self-leadership demands time and a commitment to self-reflection.
Ah, but “time” is a commodity. The responsibilities are too great to be pre-occupied with one’s self.
- “I can barely find quality time with my family how can I possibly make time for myself?”
- “I don’t even know how or where to begin?”
And that paradox is precisely the invitation to make the time to self-reflect and lead one’s self. IF we do not understand ourselves; or, if we don’t seek to take care of ourselves; or, if we don’t appreciate the possibilities within ourselves then we will likely not accomplish, elevate, and even transform the kinds of relationships and results we would like to achieve in work and in life.
Opportunity: Lead yourself. Accept the responsibility for appreciating that you deserve time and attention too. And, as a key priority, schedule time for self-reflection which is an act of self-leadership. How much time? That is an unknown—it is personal. But I would like to suggest some form of 90 minutes a week. Said another way, 1.5 hours out of a 168-hour week.
- Some of you will prefer longer segments within the 90 minutes. Others will prefer smaller time frames over the course of the week. All are good. The goal is 90-minutes of self-reflection as an act of self-leadership; and yes, keep track of the time.
What am I reflecting about? You. Your needs. Your opportunities. Your limitations. Your Regrets. Your loved ones. Your career. Your next steps. Your innate value and worth.
Begin with Some of the Following: 5 Suggestions.
- Give thanks for you. In spite of any self-doubts or anxiety, be thankful that you exist and are contributing to a quality of life—personally and professionally.
- Reflect on your larger purpose. Why do you exist? What would you like to improve upon, let go of, and develop for you as a self-leader and as a member of the human family?
- Consider alignment. Are you doing what you want to do, really? And does that reality or possibility align with who you are or who you want to be or become? If so, seize on that knowledge. If not, commit to making an adjustment (it’s never, ever too late).
- Look out…see a horizon…3 years. 5 years. 8+ years. Who would you like to be or better become—personally (quality of character), within your family (however that is experienced), emotionally (any baggage to overcome), interpersonally (as you affirm, eliminate, and develop new relationships), and professionally (what you hope for your career in terms of fulfillment and advancement).
- Discover or validate a larger cause or contribution. In the larger picture of life, in society as you are experiencing it, how would you like to contribute to it and learn from it? Is your self-leadership reflecting your value set and however you may want to contribute to a greater good? And, who do you want to include in the discovery or cause. Are those key persons on board with you? Have you invited them into the discovery process with you?
I’d like to believe these self-reflections questions are relevant at any time within one’s life. But I think they are particularly essential now as we are navigating our lives both personally and professionally through the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Many of us are feeling levels of uncertainty and anxiety that we have not seen in years; and, because our work lives have been disrupted in countless ways—and certainly remotely. All the more our own self-leadership, self-reflection, and self-care are needed for normalcy and stability. Lead Away—and identify at least one accountability partner for more likely sustainability.
Bill Dickinson, D.Min.
C3 Leadership, LLC