The most effective leaders recognise that they still have things they can learn.
They understand that specific learning goals coupled with conscious effort and attention help them to be successful. This balance of self-awareness and self-discipline is what makes them a rounded and respected leader within their organisation.
One method that many effective leaders use is the practice of reflection; reflecting on the new things they have tried and what they have learned as a result. The good news is that this is a method of learning which is very quick and effective, and only requires a few minutes each day.
David Peterson, ex-Director of Executive Coaching and Leadership at Google, calls this Rapid Reflection. He suggests it’s a powerful tool which helps managers and leaders move from being ‘good’ to being ‘great’.
So how does it work? It’s a process where you set aside a few minutes at the end of the day, week and month to reflect on your actions and what you have learnt as a result. It also prompts you to look for new opportunities to learn and grow as a leader.
Rapid Reflection for Managers and Leaders
1. Daily (1-2 min.)
• What new thing did I do today?
• What did I learn?
• What one thing will I do differently tomorrow?
2. Weekly (3-4 min.)
• What progress did I make last week?
• What do I need to focus on this week?
3. Monthly (5-10 min.)
• What have I done this month to become a more effective leader or manager?
• When is my next opportunity to act with compassion, integrity, and courage*? (* replace with your own organisation’s values)
• How am I helping others to bring their best selves to work? What else could I do?
Building a reflection practice will help you move from good to great in no time at all. A few minutes a week will do the trick – and it’s so easy to fit in. So, what’s stopping you?