It’s guest post Monday! This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader and leadership blogger at JMLalonde.com. Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him on Twitter or at his blog. If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.
Leaders lives are filled with so much motion and energy. We’re always moving forward. Pushing away the past. Looking for the next great insight.
And yet we’re missing a key piece to leadership. The key is reflection.
Looking back on where we’ve come from. Seeing the trials we’ve faced. Marveling at the mountains we’ve climbed.
They’re there! And you’ve accomplished much.
This is why we need to become reflective leaders.
Let’s focus on three ways that reflection can make us better leaders.
- Reflection shows us how much we’ve grown: As we grow, it’s easy to forget how little we once knew. I’m reminded of this every time I visit a school and have to visit the bathroom. When I was younger, I remember the school bathroom being very big. Yet when I enter one now, it’s amazing how small and low the toilets are.When you reflect on where you’ve come from, you’ll realize much the same. You started out small and you’re further along than you thought. There’s been growth here, there, and everywhere.
- Reflection boosts our confidence: Looking back at the challenges we face can be the biggest boost we ever get. More than compliments from friends, audience members, or our peers.Viewing the ruins of our challenges and the success we have helps push us forward. You’re able to revisit success and know that you’ve accomplished it once before. You can do it again!
- Reflection can show you where you’re going: You may be asking yourself “How does reflection show me where I’m going?” It’s there, you have to look for it though.Looking at the past shows the path you’ve taken. You can see the twists and turns. You see the paths that once looked cloudy are now clear.During this time of reflection, focus on how those cloudy paths became clear. It was by taking step after step until you could see further ahead. The more you progressed, the clearer the path became. Use this to look forward.
We must become leaders who reflect on the past so we can shine brightly in the future. The more we remember the great moments in the past, the greater our confidence will become. The more growth we’ll realize. The clearer our path will be in the future.
Begin the process of reflection.
Take time today to write down where you started. Write down some of your past challenges and how you overcame them. Write down where you’re going.
Keep them fresh in your mind as you move forward. Let them be a light for you as you enter troubled times in your leadership. You’ll need the reminders at some point in your leadership.
Question: What have you learned from reflecting on your past?