What Did We Learn About Ourselves Today?
Taking the opportunity to learn is an admirable and sought after trait in any leader.
Most experts will say that you cannot grow without being a keen observer and student of:
- Your industry
- Technological advances
- Global economies
- Market forces
- Consumer confidence
These are all great aspects, but I challenge you today and each day forward to learn about one other thing as well:
If you time take every day to look at how you can improve, you will be miles ahead of most of the leaders in your sphere of influence. Take a moment every day to learn:
- How you are progressing towards your goals
- How you handled stress
- Whether you stayed aligned and authentic to your values
- If your actions and words edified or brought down others
- Why you made some decisions a certain way
- What your thinking was at a critical moment
- If you considered other’s input and were proactive in resolving versus being defensive
- Where a new weakness, or dormant weakness, exists
- How well you strive to improve every aspect (work, home, health, faith, etc) of your life
In the past couple of weeks, I learned that my motivation can swing extreme from one pursuit to another, feel best when I identify and quickly react to a situation, have physical limits on how much I strive to improve, and know my internal agendas can betray my best actions and intentions. By learning how I impact the relationships I have with others, I can give a plus-minus review of myself each day and adapt towards improving those areas.
In order to find out more about yourself, where you are growing and where you need to grow, you need to generate a daily awareness and teachable spirit that allows you to accept what you and others observe in you.
Here are some basic rules for learning about yourself:
- Look for both the positive and negative. It is easier for some folks to find negative about themselves, and for others, their strengths get recognized the most. An effective leader will look for both ways to acknowledge their positives and opportunities to improve. Don’t discount either one.
- Take time to reflect. Spend a few moments both throughout the day and at the end of the day to review and ask what you could do better. Make notes and refer to them during the week. Introspection goes a long way to allow yourself to stop and see your daily growth.
- 360 degree input. Include EVERYONE in your circle of feedback. By everyone, I mean all people: spouse, your children, mentor, colleagues, friends, people in other departments. Take every bit of feedback to help you hone your skills and improvements in personal interactions and other areas that overlap your roles with them.
- Learn it, act on it, grow. When you realize an area to grow, don’t hesitate. Jump right on it and act. You may just need to be aware and tweak your actions as you go. Other traits may need a more formal approach (such as speaking in public or anxiety). Take ownership quickly and do whatever it takes to start improvising right away.
- Attitude of humility. Again, having a teachable mindset means that you’re not defensive or justify your behaviors. Always be eager to learn and grow, and know that you’ll never be perfect … but you’re working on getting there.
- Don’t shy away from the uncomfortable. Tackle the tough and rough edges with courage. The challenging areas are the ones that hold us back the most, and also the areas that will give us the most satisfaction and freedom as we grow.
Every day is a day to learn and develop yourself as a more effective leader. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a bigger impact every day.