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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Feb 25, 2021

It is day five of the radical reflection challenge - well done! Today we are reflecting on reflection. I know that sounds like we are just about to disappear into ourselves, but hear me out. Hopefully this week has shown you just how powerful reflection can be when we make it a regular practice. And while we would all agree that reflection is important, it is rarely urgent. As a result reflection will always be pushed down to the bottom of our priority list unless we prioritise and schedule it. My challenge for you today is to identify how you will continue reflection beyond the challenge.

We started the week thinking about our values. Without reflection it’s easy for our lives to drift away from those things which matter to us most. On day two we considered what success means to each of us. It’s all too easy to take on someone else’s definition of success and find ourselves chasing that down. But by reflecting on what success means to us, we can set goals for the various seasons of our life that will help us to feel a sense of fulfilment and purpose. On day three we explored learning and growth. We often overlook just how much we have learned, so can feel stuck. I believe growth needs to be intentional, so pushing ourselves into new areas is important. And yesterday we focused on gratitude. Hopefully you have had a chance to try out some of the gratitude techniques we discussed. 

One simple thing you can do to continue reflection is to schedule a time in your calendar to complete this challenge again in 3 or 6 months from now. That is a clear goal you could easily set and achieve.

I also think that building reflection as a habit is really important. This is going to be far more effective than bursts of reflection a few times per year. 

So today I am asking you to reflect over various time horizons. Often we end up focusing on too short a time horizon, usually measured in weeks and months rather than years and decades. A quote attribute to Bill Gates sums it up well - “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

I think it’s important to identify your focus for the decade. What is the season you are in? Where do you hope to be in 10 years? Make it a clear picture. What will it look and feel like? Now you can always revisit that - I’m not asking you to set it in stone - in fact you should revisit it. That’s the same for every other level of reflection. So we start by thinking abut a decade, and then work back from there.

  • Focus for the year. What is the theme for this year? What are a few key words to sum up this theme?

  • Focus for the quarter. What is the one thing that will make the biggest difference this quarter? What is a key theme for the quarter?

  • Focus for the month.

  • Focus for the week.

  • Focus for the day. What can I do today to make progress?

I think we can keep this really practical. For example, at the end of the week you can take 15 minutes to look back at what you have achieved over the week, and set your focus for the following week. That’s a simple routine you can schedule into your calendar so it becomes a habit.

To round out this week of radical reflection, I’m asking you to reflect across these various time frames. When you first do this it will take some time. But when you have done it once, it is then about week to week maintenance. Schedule time for regular reflection to return to those areas of focus.

I hope you found this week’s challenge helpful. I encourage you to check out all of the other resources we have at Leadership Today On-Demand. The link is in the show notes, or just go to to learn more. There’s something new every week to help you to become an even better leader. We will be back to our regular podcast episodes from next week.