Weekly Intention – Reflection
03.22.13 | Posted in Weekly Intention
Last night, at one of the highest points in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, I stared out across the expanse taking in the Swiss and French Alps, Lake Geneva, and the city below, soaking in the stunning beauty of the view. So many emotions and thoughts were running through my mind, along with the continuing thought of just how blessed I am to be able to do what I do – invest in the next generation of UnCommon Leaders.
Over 60 leaders from around the globe were about to celebrate a week of learning, sharing, growing and stretching for new heights as a leader and earlier in the day I had been asking myself what was the one thing that could have caused such astonishing change in these leaders in such a short amount of time. Besides the key element that they each came hungry and motivated to maximize their experience, what was it – what was the one thing – that if taken away would have caused them to return with new knowledge, but not fundamentally changed as so many were.
Then the spark of genius hit – yes, I believe there is genius in each of us and that does not come from ego, but deep humility – and the very act that was transpiring became the focus – reflection. I could have walked to the top, taken some pictures and then gone back to the restaurant to begin our celebration, but something had caused me to stand looking out and pondering so many questions. In a word, I was reflecting and that drove questions – some simple and others deep, but those questions kept flowing and that’s when I had my answer. Reflection had produced intentional focus which drove questions that must be answered. And, that one, simple act had produced change that most of the leaders would not nor could not have imagined prior to the start of the leadership program.
Most high performing leaders are action and results oriented – give them the KPI’s and you’ll get the results. But, how many have truly reflected and searched at the level that we had just asked these leaders to do? Very few of us if we’re willing to be honest. One phrase that was the opening comment, repeated many times in several versions by the participants, is a clue to the impact of reflection – “I never realized…..”
Here’s your challenge for today – find one hour, shut off all distractions and give yourself permission to not do anything other than reflect. As it has been said before, become a human being and stop being a human-doing! Begin to ask yourself the type of questions that drive positive reflection and change. Questions such as:
- What has happened in the past that has shaped me as a leader?
- Where have my beliefs come from?
- Are these beliefs empowering beliefs?
- How has loss in my life impacted me as a leader?
- Do I really know what it is that I do that produces success as a leader?
- Do I fully understand how I impact others with my leadership style?
There are many, many more questions that you can come up with and the encouragement is to not view this as a competition, but what it is – reflection. Pick one question and keep reflecting upon it. Stay with it and add “and what else” to the end of the same question and dig deep.
And, when you do this today, make one more commitment. Commit to doing this intentional act of reflection every week for the rest of 2013. Next January let me know what happened!
Onward & Upward!
This blog is dedicated to entire AHPL group in May 2014 in Gstaad (and my group of Ulrik, Roland and Marc!) & Elena, Abdullah, Andy, Juan, Stefan, Mohamed, and Peter (HPL May 2014). And, Gorm, Yvan, Sanne, Alexander, Beatrice and Albert (HPL March 2013). And finally to The A Team…Leonardo, Sabine, Eric, Fady and John (HPL April 2013).
Go change the world!
A Creative Guide To Exploring Your Life: Self-Reflection Using Photography, Art, and Writing – Graham Gordon Ramsay