“You don’t need to have direct reports to be a leader. Being a leader means you influence individuals or teams, with or without authority, and frequently without being part of their reporting structure.”
Do you agree with the statement: “there is a need for self-reflection in leadership”?
Before you answer, let’s first clarify that you don’t have to have direct reports to be a leader. Being a leader means you influence individuals or teams, with or without authority, and frequently without being part of their reporting structure.
Leadership is also not limited to the business arena or the public sector; it also exists for children on the playground and in school.
Why? We all have the ability to influence and make an impact on others. Given this, we most likely want to be the best we can be. We also need to understand and leverage that others have strengths in areas where we can grow.
That’s where self-reflection comes in. We need to understand how we perceive and feel about ourselves, know and utilize our strengths, and recognize and address our development opportunities. Equally important is the need to understand how others perceive us and why.
This doesn’t always feel good, and sometimes we may be surprised that others find a strength in us we weren’t aware of (or even found it to be a fault). Maybe you’ve been given feedback that was an “ouch”. We don’t need to agree with it or necessarily action it but we do need to process it and give thought to where that perception originated from. This is especially true if you’ve heard it from more than one person.
Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and culture all impact who we are and how others view us. In order to develop and nurture trusting relationships, we need to understand our behaviors and how they help us obtain our desired goals or derail us or stand in the way of achieving them. (Remember that trust is considered the primary value for successful professional and personal relationships).
We need to invest time in ourselves to validate who we are and create a plan to become our “ideal self” or the leader we want to be. We need to pay attention to those around us and understand how they are feeling and what they are thinking. This isn’t a one-time initiative; strong leaders continually work on becoming even stronger. They work to maintain open lines of communication, ensure goals are shared, anticipate change, and they LISTEN.
Do you take the time to self-reflect?