Want to be a great leader? Try reflecting, recharging, and refocusing
It’s that time of year again where the sun starts to make a more regular appearance. It’s also when we start to spring clean our homes and plant seeds in our gardens ready for the spring months.
But what do you do as a leader to prepare for the new season?
With my executive coaching clients, I focus on planting the seeds of success via reflecting, recharging and refocusing. I like to think of it as a kind of leadership ‘spring clean.’
It’s a simple but very effective method of keeping you on track to achieve your goals.
Reflection is an incredible way to gain insight into what’s working for you, and what’s not. Too often as leaders, we say we don’t have the time to reflect. Yet just five or ten minutes a day is enough.
Reflecting can help you understand where you’re at currently, and what can be done differently. Self-reflection allows you to understand what is important to you. When you know what’s important to you, you can prioritise much more effectively.
How you reflect is often quite personal, but it doesn’t have to take a long time. My own reflective practice consists of just 3 simple and short questions I’ve been asking of myself and others for over 20 years:
- On a scale of 1-10, how do you think you performed/delivered?
- What do you think you did well?
- What do you think you need to do differently?
Why not give it a try? You can even set a timer for 3 minutes and spend just one minute on each question.
You must make time for you. If you’re under a lot of pressure, it’s easy to fall into the habit of working or thinking about work all the time. But that eventually leads to burnout. Pretty soon you feel tired, stressed, and basically frazzled.
When you’re caught in that state of mind, it can seem like a waste of time to take time out for yourself. But the funny thing is that setting aside time for self-care will lead to you becoming less stressed, and a stronger leader.
Make self-care a priority.
What that looks like can be different for different individuals. Some suggestions:
- Commit to taking your full lunch break away from your desk every day
- Make time for a walk in nature
- Commit to regular gentle exercise such as yoga
- Set a time every evening when you will switch off your work phone and emails, and stick to it
- Book time off and visit somewhere special to you
- Make time to socialise with your friends regularly
Think of it as an investment that will pay dividends in the future.
Once you’ve reflected and recharged, it’s the perfect time to refocus.
You’ve identified what is and isn’t working for you. You’ve invested time in self-care to give you the energy to make any necessary changes. Now, it’s time to look at what you want to focus on.
- Are the things you’re spending your time on making you feel energised? Or are they draining your energy?
- Have your priorities shifted? If so, do you need to revisit your goals?
- Are you spending time on the things that really matter?
- Do you feel in control of your journey? If not, how can you regain control?
Taking the time to reflect, recharge and refocus can give you back the focus, confidence, and resilience you need to achieve your leadership goals.
If you’re ready to spring clean your leadership practice, why not join me at my next leadership retreat.
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