Self-Reflection: One of the Most Powerful Leadership Activities

Want to be a rockstar leader in your industry? Then you must do be doing this!

Want to be a rockstar in your industry? There are a multitude of leadership activities you could undertake to be a rockstar leader. So where do you start?

Research by McKinsey is pretty darn clear. It starts with mindset. Before you 'ho-hum' mindset, and click back, stick with me for 60 seconds! I've got a practical solution on how you can shift your mindset as you go about your daily work. Practice this tip and it will transform your leadership.


Here's what McKinsey says: 

"Our research on organizational health shows that making one's mindset the subject of conscious scrutiny is an indispensable prerequisite of leadership effectiveness."

McKinsey found that when organization's focused on the mindsets needed to reach their goals, they were 4 times more likely to be successful.

Your beliefs, values, priorities, feelings, and needs all drive how you behave. So, how often do you stop to think about what is driving your behavior?

If you are like most leaders, you are busy rushing through the day with back-to-back meetings and critical deadlines. You're likely thinking: "Who has the time to stop and ponder what's driving your behaviors and choices? Who has the bandwidth to worry about if their mindset, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, thoughts are on point or not?"

That thinking stops you from being a rockstar! If you want to be a rockstar leader YOU must create the space to reflect upon how you're leading.

Self-reflection is a critical skill that separates regular leaders from high-performance leaders

Self-reflection is a critical skill that separates regular leaders from high-performance leaders. Unfortunately, it's one of those leadership activities to which most people give little, to no, attention. Even though it's a leadership activity that provides a serious boost to your performance and you becoming a superstar.

Mindset Shift

Self-Reflection provides a serious boost to your performance and you becoming a superstar

Use This Process To Be a Superstar

I recommend to all leaders I coach that they build a minimum 5-10 minute buffer between meetings and activities. In fact 15 minutes is better, but for now, let's get you going with a 5-10 minute buffer!. If you want to know what else I get my rockstar coaching clients to do in the 15 minutes then check out our coaching page.  

What do you do during this 5-10 minute buffer? 

Take the Time to do the Following 3 Things:

Step 1: In your diary, schedule 'meetings with self' to action any items that came out of the meeting/activity. If you don't know what a meeting with self is, grab the Time Genie ebook. (This step isn't about self-reflection and understanding your mindset. It's about making sure you deliver on what you promise, so your reputation is solid).`

Step 2: Next, Ask yourself: "How did I use the 4Bs (Believing, Belonging, Behaving, Bottom-line) during this time?" When you are running your day through the lens of the mindset of the 4Bs, you can't help but become a rockstar leader.

Step 3: Finally, ask yourself: "What should I improve upon next time? What will I do differently in the future?

My clients have seen transformations in their performance and the performance of their teams as they use this practice. When you improve as a leader you can't help but improve the people around you.

So, let's imagine you've just finished a meeting. Below are some examples of questions you can use to help you identify your mindset and performance, in terms of the 4Bs. 

And, just to be clear, you can use these questions just as easily when you're working on your own tasks and activities, making decisions, or answering emails. It's all about taking a few extra moments to think about, "Am I going to get the results I want to get, from the action I'm about to take?"

The Four Areas You Should Reflect Upon

Believing

  • Did I use our organizational values to drive our decisions?
  • Did I show people that I cared about their success as much as my own?
  • Did I help someone see how what they do makes a difference to the business?
  • Did I reference our vision (organizationally or for the task at hand)?
  • Did I enable people to work to their strengths?
  • Did I celebrate successes?

Belonging

  • Did I create a welcoming, inclusive vibe?
  • Did I ensure each person had an opportunity to be heard?
  • Did I create opportunities for us to learn from each other?
  • Did I make sure that politics, competition and in-fighting were absent?
  • Did I keep things light?
  • Did I have any fixed attitudes or beliefs about someone in that meeting? Did it get in my way of influencing him or her?

Behaving

  • Did I call out any poor behaviors?
  • Did I reinforce any great behaviors?
  • Did I role-model our values?
  • Did I use guiding principles rather rules?
  • If someone made a mistake, did I help them learn rather than punish?
  • Were we solutions-focused or problem-focused?
  • Did I flex my style to better influence others?
  • Did I use the pygmalion effect to either negatively or positively influence?

Bottom-Line

  • Have we set clear targets, expectations, and ways to measure our performance?
  • Did I ensure the meeting was a productive use of our time?
  • Have I over/under committed in any way?
  • Did I encourage business-partner mindsets in the team?
  • How did I help us move forward on our top goals?
  • How did I improve our collective self-talk?

Don't just yes/no your answers to these questions. That's not self-reflection. Try and recall examples of what you said and did.

Of course, there are many other questions you could ask of yourself. It all depends upon the context of your organization, your leadership capability and where you need to grow. But these are a great foundation for you.

Mindset Shift

Use the 4Bs to guide you in every decision and action you take. Be considered and deliberate in how you lead

Be a High-Performer: Take it to Another Level!

If you want to take it to another level, then pre-focus yourself. Make diary notes for the next time you are about to attend a meeting or complete an activity. In those notes, you create your own agenda that says, "In this meeting/while I'm doing this task, I am going to focus upon ..." Then pick two or three things that you are going to do differently.

Another thing you can try is to track yourself during the meeting/activity. Imagine you step out of your body, and you are hovering somewhere up by the ceiling. Watch yourself for a few moments and ask - "How am I showing up right now? Am I using the 4Bs? Am I using our values?" Then do any mid-course corrections.

If you're like my clients, you'll discover that when you get good at practicing these skills, your career will become a blockbuster!

Self-reflection is one of those leadership activities at which you want to be a rockstar!

Hot Tip

When you get good at practicing these skills your career will be a blockbuster!

You'll be known as a "Rockstar" in your industry

Are You Working With a Coach/Mentor?

If not, you should be. Coaching is the time when your self-reflection is at its peak. If you've got a remarkable coach, you'll come away from your coaching session with a game plan of what you'll do differently. Then you'll go out into your workplace and practice what you planned. Then you'll self reflect and discuss with your coach.

The one thing your coach will do is to hold your feet to the fire. If they're any good at what they do, they'll never let you play a small game. If you're ready to play a big game, check out why you might want to be coached by me. 

Ready to be a rockstar in your organization and industry?

While this isn't the McKinsey research I was referencing, this article provides some great insights.

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