The Man in the Mirror

I just returned from a personal retreat where I did some much needed self-reflection. In Bill George's book "True North," he lists 5 top issues that can pull you away from your "true north" as a leader. One of those [issues] is the lack of self-awareness or self-reflection. I love this quote by Bill George on the subject:

“Because the desire to influence others is always fraught with the danger of illusion and the power to control, self-reflection is required to unmask our own pretensions, to purify our motivations, and to spur us forward in true humility.” - Bill George

I have the habit of doing self-reflection periodically, and this retreat offered me that opportunity, but I'm finding that it needs to be more frequent than that. To be the very best leader that I can be I need to consistently check myself in the mirror - and I'm not referring to vanity here. Checking your motives, use of power and platform, etc. are things that are of the upmost importance as you lead. Sometimes we need others to be that mirror for us - because we personally don't have the full capacity to see ourselves as others see us.

Here are a few things I jotted down in my moleskin of how I can best make self-reflection happen in my life:
  • Post a quote (perhaps Bill George's quote above) somewhere visible (bathroom mirror?) that will remind me of the importance of self-reflection.
  • Asking those closest to me for candid, constructive feedback at least once a week.
  • Take time weekly (even 15 or 20 minutes) to reflect on areas that need improvement and develop action items for improvement.
  • Regulary journal in my moleskin thoughts, feelings or takeaways from my conversations with others and my self-reflection.
  • Spend time in confession and prayer (commit to prayer areas of weakness and goals for personal growth.)

What others would you add to this list? How are you doing with self-reflection?

[(visit my friends at Theme Thursday)]

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6 Responses to “The Man in the Mirror”

  1. # Blogger VE

    I'd add the classic, "Wherever you go, there you are" and also "Everything goes better with bacon"...those are important...  

  2. # Blogger Rob

    Silence and solitude are hard to do, but unplugging from tech and just listening is a healthy discipline that I need more of.  

  3. # Blogger JeffScape

    I always ask for honest feedback, especially on stuff I put out in the open.

    Analyzing a "this sucks because..." comment is almost always more productive and self-revealing than basking in those "oh, you're so good at (whatever)" comments.

    Does that make sense?  

  4. # Blogger ShAKirA CHOONG

    Hhmmm...you ever try writing future letters
    to yourself?

    Just write a letter to yourself addressed to you for a day for 365 days and you get to open the letter
    and do exactly what you are suppose to do in the letter... for instance, when you write the letters , you may feel you need certain things in your life
    or even resolutions, only put them as letters to your future self and you must DO EXACTLY as what your letter said.

    Then, you can REFLECT on your wants/needs.
    You get me?
    I am really bad in explaining this. Hope you get it.

    Mine is here

    http://justmeshakirack.blogspot.com/2010/02/mirrors-of-my-life-thursday-theme.html

    HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
    and
    GONG XI FA CAI!
    (means WISHING YOU PROSPERITY! in Mandarin, Chinese)

    hugs
    shakira  

  5. # Blogger Terrace Crawford

    @VE - you know how i love bacon.

    //TC//  

  6. # Blogger Brian Miller

    when i was on staff at the church, we had one day dedication each month to recalibration. i thought this was great to allow time for self assessment. the key was accountability...  

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