Reflection Strategies For Leaders

Now that the half marathon is over, and many of my major projects are launched for this quarter, it’s time for renewal and reflection.

I’m a strong proponent of taking a corporate athlete approach to activities, as per Shwartz in The Power of Full Engagement. Take a sprinter’s approach to activities: go hard in short bursts, followed by rest.

From a practical point of view the active component of my work looks like: travel, corporate facilitation, training delivery, outdoor programs, meeting swathes of clients and prospective clients, networking, connecting, writing, creating.

The renewal phase is about reflection and it looks like this:

  1. Review: Check in with alignment again my vision, values, projects and decisions. Do an integrity check – how am I going against my promises?
  2. Renew: Connect to guidance for any clarification, or for a faith boost. I do this with internal and external approaches, and from metaphysical to material aspects of guidance. Examples include journaling, card reading, meditating, and talking with my mentors.
  3. Reinvent: This is the vigorous interrogation of my internal dialogue. If my behaviour is not matching my expectations, I overhaul my storytelling, reframe the experience, and reach for new affirmations and beliefs that are more supportive for me.
  4. Resolve: This is tough work. It’s delving into shadow and exploring what needs to be healed and resolved so I can be more integrated, peaceful and aligned with my purpose. It can be a bit yucky. Courage required!
  5. Refresh: This follows the universal law of detachment as espoused by the Dalai Lama and many other religious faiths. This is about dropping attachment to outcomes, to challenges, even to life itself and being fully present, absorbed in the moment, savouring the sweetness of life.

This last point, refresh, seems the most salient for me right now as I hear of one of my friends in Canada has passed away far too young, and the imminent execution of the Australians in Indonesia by firing squad.

Life is sweet and brief as a quiet breath in frosty air. We want to savour every last molecule with the time that we have. And that time is now.

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