Why Do Top Leaders Take Time to Reflect

There is incredible power in reflection, particularly for leaders.

This newsletter explains why you should tap into the power of reflection and gives you 4 simple ways to do so.

Why Reflection Matters to Leaders

Leaders who reflect increase self-awareness and better understand their own strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations. They also cope better with set backs and obstacles.

As a result, leaders who reflect make better decisions, are more productive, connect better with others, and they are more inclined to innovate and think up new ideas.

Case Study: Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube and one of the most powerful women in the tech industry. She is also a strong believer in the power of reflection. In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Wojcicki said that she reflects on her work on a daily basis. She asks herself questions like:

  • What went well today?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What are my priorities for tomorrow?

Wojcicki also makes time for more in-depth reflection on a weekly and monthly basis. She uses this time to think about her long-term goals and to develop strategies for achieving them. Wojcicki’s commitment to reflection has paid off (complimenting her other leadership skills). She has led YouTube to become one of the most popular and successful websites in the world.

How to Productively Reflect

Here are a few ways to intentionally and effectively reflect:

  • Set aside some time each day for reflection. Review your key priorities and first tasks for the day. At day’s end, reflect on what’s done, what went well, what you need to follow up on, priorities for the next day, and so forth. Even just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference. And if you miss some days, that’s okay, try again the next day. Some studies suggest that this type of daily reflection improves productivity by 22 percent.
  • Reflect weekly during your pre-week planning. Take time during your pre-week planning to review (reflect on) your personal vision, goals, key life roles, and reflect to identify what your key priorities are for the upcoming week. This weekly pre-week planning, together with daily reflection and planning, improves productivity by 30-50 percent on average.
  • Reflect monthly. Take time to evaluate on a monthly basis your goals, challenges, successes, and general life direction. You can use this monthly reflection template that is incorporated into BYB planners to help you do just this.
  • Reflect annually as you update your vision and set roles and goals. The start of the new year is a perfect time to evaluate your life from a 30,000 foot view. What is going well? What would you like to start? Stop? Continue? What goals and life milestones would you like to work on?

Wrapping Up

So, take time to reflect daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. You’ll be more prepared, feel less stress, be more productive, realize better life balance, have increased capacity to help others, and you’ll be a better leader. That’s becoming your best.

“Not many people can claim to be free of worry and stress, and there are ways to find peace and balance in the midst of chaos and the daily rush of life. You can find peace and balance each and every day. You don’t have to wait until all your challenges and stresses have passed. Peace is always yours to claim.” – Steve Shallenberger

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